The surprise swearing-in of Devendra Fadnavis as the Maharashtra Chief Minister despite lacking a clear majority was a planned “drama” to “protect Rs 40,000 crore central funds, BJP MP Ananthkumar Hegde has claimed. Giving a new twist to the Maharashtra drama, former Union Minister Hegde also alleged that it took 15 hours for Fadnavis to ensure that the money “reaches where it had to”.
Calling the purported act of Fadnavis as treachery, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said Fadnavis and the BJP were “criminals” of people of Maharashtra. The state Chief Secretary and CM Uddhav Thackeray will clarify on the issue, Raut said.
Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, however, rejected Hegde’s claim, saying no such major policy decision was taken by him. “I have not taken any such policy decision during my tenure as chief minister or caretaker CM. Those who understand the accounting system of the Centre and states, they would know no such transfer of funds takes place,” he said.
#WATCH Former Maharashtra CM & BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Ananth K Hegde (BJP) remark, ‘Devendra Fadnavis became CM & in 15 hours he moved Rs 40,000 crores back to Centre’: No such major policy decision has been taken by me as CM. All such allegations are false. pic.twitter.com/wSEDOMGF4N
— ANI (@ANI) December 2, 2019
Addressing a gathering in bypoll-bound Yellapur in Uttara Kannada district on Saturday, Hegde said in Kannada, “It was entirely planned earlier itself. Once we got to know (about three parties forming government) it was decided that a drama has to be played out. So, adjustments were made and oath was taken (by Fadnavis as CM), after oath within 15 hours Fadnavis systematically ensured that it (money) reaches where it had to and protected it,”.
“You all know that recently in Maharashtra for just 80 hours our person was Chief Minister, but soon Fadnavis resigned. Why did we have to do this drama? Didn’t we know- despite knowing we don’t have the majority, why did he become CM? This is the question commonly every one asks,” Hegde had said.
Fadnavis was sworn in by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in a hush-hush ceremony on November 23 for a second term after stunning midnight developments where NCP’s Ajit Pawar had revolted against his party and propped up the government with BJP. However, three days later, Fadnavis resigned as chief minister ahead of the floor test, admitting he does not have the numbers shortly after his deputy Ajit Pawar quit the government.