State Industries Minister Subhash Desai said on Monday that opposition from grampanchayats in project-affected areas had made it difficult to acquire land for the west coast oil refinery at Nanar in Ratnagiri district.Reading out a statement in the Assembly, Mr. Desai said there are 14 project-affected villages under nine grampanchayats. “All nine grampanchayats have passed a resolution opposing the oil refinery. Since a policy has been accepted as per the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, to acquire land only with the consent of the owners, it will be difficult to proceed with land acquisition,” the Shiv Sena leader said.He further said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and the project-affected persons (PAPs) met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on February 15 and submitted thousands of letters from locals opposing the project. The CM assured them the project would not be forced on people, and hence Memorandum of Understanding for the refinery was not signed in the Magnetic Maharashtra summit.Mr. Desai said, “I have written to the CM, appealing him to make public his decision regarding the refinery considering intense opposition from the locals.” Mr. Desai was interrupted by slogans from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Bhaskar Jadhav and Congress MLAs Prithviraj Chavan and Nitesh Rane, among others. Mr. Jadhav said the minister’s statement did not abide by the rulebook, since he was replying to a starred question which was not even discussed. “How can the minister make a statement on an issue which was not even discussed? Isn’t it only a political stunt to ensure no blame goes to him?” Mr. Jadhav asked.Mr. Chavan said the issue was brought up because it is politically sensitive. “How can the Speaker even allow the minister to make a statement [on the refinery]?” the former chief minister asked.Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Ajit Pawar said the Opposition wanted to discuss the Nanar refinery issue in detail, and a special discussion be held in the ongoing budget session, to which Mr. Fadnavis replied in the affirmative.The proposed west coast refinery, which will be biggest in the country, is expected to bring in investment worth ₹1.5 to ₹2 lakh crore. The Indian Oil Corporation will have 50% stake in it, while Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) will have a stake of 25% each.