MUMBAI: Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA from Rajapur, Rajan Salvi, sprang a surprise on his leadership on Wednesday by coming out in support of the proposed refinery at Barsu. Even as Sanjay Raut and Aaditya Thackeray backed the protestors and called for stalling the project, Salvi said he was in favour of it due to the unemployment in the region. Salvi said the administration should win over those opposing the project.“If the refinery project comes up in Konkan, employment will be available to local people. Most of the youth in Konkan have settled in Mumbai for jobs, but if this project comes to Konkan, they need not go to the city in search of jobs, say the authorities. I support the project on this issue,” said Salvi. Salvi’s vocal support and appeal to the administration to defuse the protests set off speculation about differences in the party. Industries minister Uday Samant had pointed out on Tuesday that it was former CM Uddhav Thackeray who greenlighted the shift for the refinery from Nanar in Ratnagiri to Barsu. Thackeray has so far not commented on the issue.Salvi incidentally is under investigation for disproportionate assets. Last month his wife, elder brother and sister-in-law were all issued notices and summoned by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for questioning.Meanwhile, Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut said his party will not back the Barsu project if people oppose it. “There was opposition to Nanar, people took to the streets. Therefore, as chief minister, he (Thackeray) suggested Barsu as an alternative site to the Centre. But Sena (UBT) will not support it if people oppose the project…if the people have come forward to protest, their position is that they will not give up even if they die, then the value for that letter (written by Thackeray to the Centre) is zero. Shiv Sena is on the side of people,” Raut said. Raut also hit out at deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis for asking if the Sena had taken a “supari (contract)” to stall the work. “Don’t talk after taking supari, Shiv Sena doesn’t need to take suparis in Maharashtra. From the Election Commission (EC) to the judiciary, who is taking suparis,” Raut said.