The comment comes days after Fadnavis resigned, barely 80 hours after taking oath for the second time as Maharashtra's chief minister, and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray took over as the new chief minister
Former union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Anantkumar Hegde has claimed that Devendra Fadnavis was made Maharashtra’s Chief Minister in November despite lacking majority only to 'protect' Rs 40,000 crore central funds under the CM's control from being 'misused'.
Hegde, known for making controversial remarks, reportedly sought to give a new twist to the Maharashtra government formation episode by describing it as a 'drama' played out to ensure that the funds meant for development works were 'protected'.
The comment comes days after Fadnavis resigned, barely 80 hours after taking oath for the second time as the chief minister, and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray took over as the new chief minister.
"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 majority, why did he become CM? This is the question commonly every one ask," Hegde said.
Addressing a gathering, reportedly during campaign in bypoll-bound Yellapur in Uttara Kannada district on November 30, Hegde said: "More than about Rs 40,000 crore was under CM's control. If NCP (Nationalist Congress Party), Congress and Shiv Sena come to power certainly that Rs 40,000 crore would not have gone for development work and would have gone for different things (misused)."
"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," Hegde said, speaking in Kannada.
The entire amount was given back to central government, or else certainly the "next Chief Minister would have...you know what would have happened...," the BJP leader added.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the reports.
However, Fadnavis has rejected Hegde's statement. "Maharashtra government’s role in the bullet train project is limited to land acquisition. So, there is no question of the Centre giving Maharashtra government any money for the purpose,” Fadnavis said.
“May it be the bullet train project of something else, the Centre did not seek any money from Maharashtra and Maharashtra government did not give any money to the Centre. I did not take any major policy decision like this when I was the chief minister (in the second term) or when I was the acting chief minister. So, this (Hegde’s remark) is a wrong statement,” Fadnavis added.
“People who understand the Centre’s and Maharashtra government’s accounting system, know that money is not transferred in this way. In fact, I urge the government’s Finance Department to conduct an inquiry and put out facts,” Fadnavis told reporters.
Fadnavis was sworn in by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari 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.
Subsequently, on November 28, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray took oath as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra, heading an unlikely alliance of the Sena, the NCP and the Congress.
The Shiv Sena had broken its three-decade alliance with the BJP over sharing of the chief minister's post after contesting the Maharashtra Assembly elections together and the combine winning a comfortable majority.(With inputs from PTI)LIVE NOW... Video series on How to Double Your Monthly Income... where Rahul Shah, Ex-Swiss Investment Banker and one of India's leading experts on wealth building, reveals his secret strategies for the first time ever. Register here to watch it for FREE.