Fadnavis Denies Being 80-Hr CM to ‘Return Rs 40,000 Cr to Centre’
Hegde said it was a “drama” that was “planned much before” so that Sena-NCP-Congress cannot misuse the funds.
In a shocking confession on the political drama that unfolded in Maharashtra last month, BJP MP Ananth Hegde has now said that Devendra Fadnavis was made the chief minister of the state to move back funds worth Rs 40,000 crore to the Centre, so that it isn’t “misused”.
He also said it was a “drama” that was “planned much before”.
Speaking at a gathering at his constituency Uttara Kannada in Karnataka, Hegde said, “You all know our man in Maharashtra became CM for 80 hours. Fadnavis then resigned – why did he do this drama? Didn't we know that we didn't have majority? And yet he became CM. This is the question everyone asks.”
He then went on to answer the “question” himself.
Fadnavis, however, rejected the claim saying that the allegations are false.
“No such major policy decision has been taken by me as CM. All such allegations are false,” he said speaking to the media.
‘In 15 Hours, He Moved Rs 40,000 Crore’
Hegde suggested that the state’s CM has access to Rs 40,000 crore worth of funds and the BJP had apprehension that it would be “misused” if Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena came to power.
“It’s all central government’s money, and it wouldn’t have been used for development. This was all planned much before, and we knew that something has to be done about it. So it was decided that there should be a natak (drama). So Fadnavis took oath as CM. Immediately, in 15 hours, he moved all the Rs 40,000 crores to where it belonged,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut tweeted on Hegde’s statement, saying it amounted to “treachery” with the state.
PM Will Have to Quit If Hegde's Claim Is True: NCP
Sharad Pawar-led NCP said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have to resign if there is truth in Hegde's remarks.
NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “It is impossible for the state government to return Rs 40,000 crore to the Centre. If at all it (Hegde’s claim) is true, then Prime Minister Modi will have to step down from his post.”
“It is not injustice to just Maharashtra but to other states as well. People from states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala will not tolerate such injustice,” Malik told reporters in Mumbai.
Apart from politicians, some journalists also took to the micro-blogging site saying the matter should be probed.
Congress Demands Answers
The Congress on Monday demanded an answer from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Hegde's claim.
"A (former) Union minister has exposed the Modi government. BJP's anti-Maharashtra face has been exposed. Has the federal structure been crushed? Was the Rs 40,000 crore earmarked for the welfare of the public and farmers withdrawn through a a conspiracy? Prime Minister must reply!," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.
"Hegde's statement is not only sensational, but also betrays Maharashtra's interests. The Prime Minister himself should come forward and explain the situation. This kind of treatment meted out to any state is against our democratic conventions," the Congress said on its official Twitter handle.
Fadnavis’ 80-Hour Government
In a proverbial bolt from the blue, BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the Maharashtra CM on 23 November and NCP’s Ajit Pawar as his deputy, even as Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress were in advanced stage of talks on forming the government.
Following the development, the Sena-NCP-Congress combine approached the Supreme Court, which mandated a floor test. However, a day ahead of the floor test, both Ajit and Fadnavis resigned from their respective posts on 26 November.
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