Shiv Sena-BJP alliance living 'post-divorce life' under coercion, says Sanjay Raut in Saamana column

Castigating the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government over the Nanar refinery project, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena relationship was now one like "post-divorce".

Casting doubts over the already tenuous alliance between the two parties, Raut wrote in his column 'Rokhthok' in the Sena's mouthpiece Saamana, "Though the state government is running on Sena’s support, it is living a post-divorce life."

Raut, who is also the executive editor of Saamna, said "The Shiv Sena-BJP's Maharashtra government is one of the best examples of how to be together, clearly under coercion, and maintain the 'alliance' even when there is no correspondence with each other."

 Shiv Sena-BJP alliance living post-divorce life under coercion, says Sanjay Raut in Saamana column

File image of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. Twitter@rautsanjay61

Referring to the ongoing row over the Nanar project, Raut stated that after the state industries minister Subhash Desai cancelled the land acquisition notification, Fadnavis needn't have expressed his anger over it.

The trouble began when Fadnavis rubbished Desai's claim and said the order had not been cancelled. "What Desai said was his personal opinion. The notification (to acquire land) can be cancelled only by a high-powered committee. The government has not yet cancelled the notification," Fadnavis told reporters on the sidelines of a function on 23 April.

In his editorial, Raut wrote that the best example of how a coalition government should not function is the present Maharashtra government. "It (Shiv Sena-BJP alliance) has been going on for three and a half years. Whatever the Sena decides, the BJP opposes it. This isn’t working in the larger interest of Maharashtra. The two sides are different in thought. The method of working is different. Now, with everything going on, that mentality can not work together," he said.

"Tempers do flare up (within the alliance), but there is no domestic violence,” he added sarcastically.

A consortium of oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop and build a refinery and petrochemicals complex, called the Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited. The proposed refinery, to come up over 15,000 acres, will be located in Nanar in the Ratnagiri district of coastal Konkan region. It is around 350 kilometres away from Mumbai.

The refinery will be capable of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day (60 million metric tonnes per annum) and also produce refined petroleum products including petrol and diesel meeting the BS-VI fuel efficiency norms.

Expressing the party's strong opposition to the refinery, Raut wrote: "The refinery will destroy the environment. Mango and jackfruit crops will be destroyed. The sea will get polluted affecting the quality of the fish," adding that the Konkan region is the scenic part of Maharashtra. He further likened the project to the Ram Temple being destroyed in Ayodhya and a temple of Ravana being erected in its place.

He also said that everyone, from BJP chief Amit Shah to Fadnavis, is talking about an alliance between the two parties again in 2019. "It was the BJP’s compulsion to take Sena’s support to run the government in 2014. It is now Sena’s compulsion to not be with the BJP in 2019 and the BJP’s arrogance is responsible for it,” Raut wrote.

The Shiv Sena MP also said that people who voted the BJP to power in the state and at the Centre were not "bulls or donkeys". "They are citizens. They (BJP) has to respect the public. Democracy is killed when the arbitrariness of rulers' minds' talk begins," said Raut.

Raut further accused Fadnavis of reneging on his promise that the Nanar refinery project would not continue if locals were opposed to it. "Gujaratis and Marwaris are buying up land in and around Nanar," he said, while adding, "The dust of confusion is everywhere in the state. The government has lost itself in the dust."

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Apr 30, 2018 12:17:01 IST