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Ruckus over Nanar project as villagers protest

Thursday, July 12, 2018
By Suyash Padate

The Nanar refinery project has run into rough weather, as the villagers in the vicinity of the project in Ratnagiri district, yesterday staged a protest in Nagpur where the monsoon session of the state legislature is currently underway.

The sensitive issue of Nanar rocked the Assembly yesterday as MLAs of the Shiv Sena and the Congress tried to snatch the mace of the Speaker. However, the staff of the Speaker prevented the MLAs from taking away the mace after they climbed the podium.

The residents of Nanar staged a protest against the project near Vidhan Bhawan. Initially the furious villagers have sought permission for protest march at the legislature. However, the cops denied the permission as a result of which they staged a dharna.

It may be recalled that the much-hyped project envisages construction of an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in and around Nanar. The project will be implemented by Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL). Local people have been opposing the project claiming that it would damage the ecology.

The issue of Nanar project was raised in the house by Shiv Sena members. Sena member Sunil Prabhu demanded that the party MLAs be allowed to speak first on the issue as they wanted to participate in a morcha opposing the project. However, Leader of the opposition, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, opposed the Sena’s demand, saying the opposition had already submitted a notice for adjournment motion on the issue.

As the ruckus continued in the house Speaker Haribhau Bagade repeatedly adjourned the house. When the house reassembled after the fourth adjournment, Nitesh Rane and Rajan Salvi (Sena) climbed the podium and lifted the mace of the Speaker. Another Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik also climbed the podium. However, the MLAs couldn’t take away the mace as the staff of the Speaker held on to it.

During the scuffle, one of the chairs placed on the podium was overturned, following which the Speaker adjourned the proceedings for the day.

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