MumbaiI: In yet another jolt to the BJP, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray late on Monday withdrew all cases filed against protestors who were opposing the proposed Rs 3 trillion Nanar oil refinery and petrochemicals complex in Ratnagiri.
There were multiple cases filed against 23 protestors, including eight women, for taking part in the anti-Nanar protests.
Following stiff opposition from the then ally Shiv Sena and its possible repercussions in the Lok Sabha elections, then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tactically cancelled the notification in March 2019.
"He also promised that he would consider the local people's sentiments and not push the project in Ratnagiri; later, he announced an alternative site in Raigad district.
However, after the BJP and allies swept the Lok Sabha polls, Fadnavis did an about-turn and said the project would be implemented in Ratnagiri itself.
The project - a joint venture of Saudi Aramco, and Indian's IOCL, BPCL and HPCL, plus other global investors - envisaged the world's biggest petrochemicals complex spread over 15,000 acres of land.
The Shiv Sena - now in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress - had repeatedly warned the BJP that it would not permit any forcible land acquisition for the project and it be shifted to Gujarat or anywhere else.
It remains to be seen what will be the Sena stand, now? This is the third to the BJP, coming on the heels of the stay on the Metro car-shed in Aarey Colony and a possible review of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project.