80-hr Fad­navis drama was for `40Kcr: BJP MP

Fad­navis de­nies Anan­tku­mar’s charge

The Asian Age - - Front Page - AGE COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Just when it looked like the month-long po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in Ma­ha­rash­tra was a closed chap­ter, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Anan­tku­mar Hegde dropped a bomb­shell on Mon­day, claim­ing that Deven­dra Fad­navis was made chief min­is­ter for the sec­ond time only to pre­vent `40,000 crore in Cen­tral funds meant for de­vel­op­ment from fall­ing into the hands of the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress.

Mr Hegde, an MP from Kar­nataka, claimed that Mr Fad­navis — in a bid to pre­vent the “mis­use” of the funds — had trans­ferred the amount to the Cen­tre just 15 hours af­ter be­com­ing chief min­is­ter

It was en­tirely planned ear­lier it­self... Af­ter oath, within 15 hours, Fad­navis sys­tem­at­i­cally en­sured that the money reached where it had to and pro­tected it. — A. Hedge, BJP MP

de­spite lack­ing a ma­jor­ity.

“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 ev­ery­one ask (sic),” Mr Hegde said while speak­ing in Ut­tara Kan­nada district on Satur­day.

“More than about `40,000 crore was un­der CM’s con­trol. If NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena come to power, cer­tainly that `40,000 crore would not have gone for de­vel­op­ment work and would have gone for dif­fer­ent things,” he said.

“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 the money reaches where it had to and pro­tected it,” the BJP leader said. Mr Fad­navis, ob­vi­ously em­bar­rassed by the claims, promptly is­sued a de­nial, stat­ing that no ma­jor de­ci­sion was taken dur­ing his sec­ond stint as chief min­is­ter.

The for­mer chief min­is­ter said in Nag­pur, “The Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment has no role in the bul­let train project other than land ac­qui­si­tion. Not a sin­gle ru­pee of the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment has been re­turned to the Cen­tre from any other project.” How­ever, the claims pro­vided fresh am­mu­ni­tion to the Shiv Sena, which lashed out against its for­mer ally and Mr Fad­navis. Sena MP San­jay Raut said Mr Fad­navis’ pur­ported ac­tions were “treach­ery against Ma­ha­rash­tra”. Terming Mr Fad­navis and the BJP crim­i­nals, he said the state chief sec­re­tary should clar­ify on the is­sue. The NCP said Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi must re­sign if Mr Hegde’s claims were truth­ful. “It is im­pos­si­ble for the state gov­ern­ment to re­turn `40,000 crore to the Cen­tre. If at all the claims are true, then Prime Min­is­ter Modi will have to step down from his post,” NCP chief spokesper­son Nawab Malik said.

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