A Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Karnataka, Anant Kumar Hegde, has claimed that Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister to prevent central funds worth Rs 40,000 crore from being misused.
"A CM has access to around Rs 40,000 crore from Centre. He knew if Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena government comes to power it would misuse funds meant for development. So it was decided that there should be a drama. Fadnavis became CM and in 15 hours he moved Rs 40,000 crore back to Centre," said Hegde.
If Hegde's claims - which are yet to be corroborated, are true - questions will arise on what are these funds and how were they transferred by Fadnavis within a couple of days. There will have to be some Maharashtra government order authorizing this transfer. Anant Hegde has had a track record of making controversial statements on various issues.
"You all know our man in Maharashtra became CM for 80 hours. Then, Fadnavis resigned. Why did he do this drama? Didn't we know that we don't have majority and yet he became CM. This is the question everyone is asking," Hegde said.
Maharashtra govt formation
A month-long political impasse in Maharashtra was ended dramatically as Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the CM, backed by the NCP's Ajit Pawar. The move had come at a time when the Shiv-Sena-Congress-NCP had reached a consensus to install Uddhav Thackeray as the CM.
Following the swearing-in, the Maha Vikas Aghadi, comprising Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP, had moved the Supreme Court, seeking an immediate floor test to avoid horse trading. The apex court had ordered a floor test after a two-day hearing.
After the judgment, Ajit Pawar resigned as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Devendra Fadnavis had also stepped down as a CM on the same day.
Addressing the press before formally resigning, Fadnavis had said: "In elections, the clear majority was given to Mahayuti and BJP got maximum 105 seats. We contested with Shiv Sena, but this mandate was for BJP because BJP won 70 per cent seats out of all seats we contested."
"We formed the govt because a group of NCP came to us, but now we don't want to do horse-trading, so I am going to resign. I am sure now the ShivSena-NCP-Congress will run the govt but I fear that this govt is going to bow down under its own pressure," he had added.
Fadnavis also extended best wishes to whoever forms the next government.
Hegde's remark baseless:
Devendra Fadnavis has refuted Anant Hegde's claims. "No such major policy decision has been taken by me as CM. All such allegations are false," he told reporters.
#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
Sources close to Devendra Fadnavis said that Hegde's remarks were based on a Whatsapp forward, adding that the only decision taken during Fadnavis's tenure was the release of aid for farmers, reported India Today.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said he would talk to a Maharashtra cabinet minister and verify Hegde's claims about Fadnavis.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut has called Fadnavis's alleged move "treachery".
(With agency inputs.)