With a mutually agreeable seat-sharing formula for upcoming Maharashtra assembly polls still eluding the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has hinted at reviving the Nanar refinery project in the Konkan region which was put on the hold in view of strident opposition by the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
Addressing a rally on Tuesday in Rajapur in Ratnagiri district, where the project was initially proposed, the chief minister said if locals wanted the project to come into existence he will talk with them.
When Fadnavis was addressing a gathering as a part of his "Maha Janadesh yatra", some locals raised the slogans that the project be brought back to the coatal Konkan.
The proposed Asia's biggest first green oil refinery, was shelved due to environmental concerns at the behest of the Sena, as a condition of its pre-Lok Sabha election alliance earlier this year.
The chief minister had then announced relocation of the project from the ecologically-sensitive Konkan, a stronghold of the Sena.
"If locals wanted this project I am willing to talk to them about Nanar," he told the gathering.
Fadnavis' remarks came days after Thackeray asserted that the proposed metro car shed project in Mumbai's Aarey Colony, being opposed by environmentalists and civil society groups, will go the Nanar way.
The chief minister had also backed the Aarey car shed project for Metro 3 line, saying it was coming up on the government land which does not fall under forest area.
Thackeray and his son Aaditya, who is tipped to be contesting his maiden assembly elections due next month, have raised their pitch against the Nanar project amidst intense hassling with the BJP for evolving a seat-sharing formula for the joint contest.
State-run oil majors have tied up with Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for the refinery project in Ratnagiri district, which entails an investment of Rs 3 lakh crore.
The 60-million tonne per annum refinery-cumpetro chemical complex has been conceived as the largest such facility in the world, which was supposed to be set up on over 15,000 acres.