Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nitin Raut reiterated Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s promise that the newly-formed state government was committed to farmers’ welfare.
However, on former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ demand that the state government should give Rs 25,000 per hectare to farmers, Raut said, “Fadnavis should first explain the remark by his party’s senior leader and Karnataka MP Ananthkumar Hegde that Fadnavis had become CM for three days to return Rs 40,000 crore meant for the bullet train project to the Centre.” Hegde’s has alleged that Fadnavis was sworn-in as chief minister for a brief while as part of a planned “drama” to protect Rs 40,000 crore Central funds to the state from being “misused” by the next CM.
Raut was talking to the media during his first visit to Nagpur after taking oath as a cabinet minister. He further said, “The previous government has put the state under a burden of Rs 6. 71 lakh crore. We are not against providing aid to farmers but the government should explain the allegations as to why the Fadnavis government handed over the money (Rs 40,000 crore) meant for farmers to the Centre.”
When it was pointed out that Fadnavis had denied Hegde’s allegations, Raut said, “Since it has been said by a senior BJP leader, I suspect there’s something amiss (daal me kuch kala hai) and for that Fadnavis is responsible.”
Asked whether the government will complete the development projects started by the Fadnavis government in Vidarbha, Raut said, “The late Balasaheb Thackeray, who didn’t support separate statehood for Vidarbha, had promised that he will do everything to develop Vidarbha. I am sure that will be done under Uddhavji’s leadership now.”