Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday dismissed the charge that he was sworn to ‘protect’ Rs 40,000 crore central funds under the CM’s control from being misused. “It is absolutely wrong and I refute it completely. A company of the central government is implementing the bullet train project, where the Maharashtra government’s role is restricted to land acquisition only. Neither the Centre asked for any funds nor the Maharashtra government sent it back,” Fadnavis told reporters in Nagpur.
On Sunday, Anant Kumar Hegde termed Devendra Fadnavis taking oath as Maharashtra Chief minister as ‘drama’. He went on to say that the entire exercise was pre-planned for a big goal. “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,” Hegde asked. Then he claimed that, “Chief Minister has access to around Rs 40,000 crore. If the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena would have managed to come in power at that point, they would have misused Rs 40,000-crore fund. It's all central government money and it wouldn't have been used for development.”
According to Hegde, the surprise political twists of November 23 that saw Fadnavis taking oath at Raj Bhavan around 8 am was ‘planned much before’. “This was all planned much before. It was decided that there should be a natak (drama). So, Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister. Immediately, in 15 hours he moved all Rs 40,000 crore to wherever it belonged. Fadnavis saved all the money. All the money was given back to the Centre,” Hegde claimed.
The statement comes at a time when Fadnavis is trying to project himself as constructive Opposition of the Thackeray government. Meanwhile, Congress MLA Nana Patole was elected as Maharashtra Assembly Speaker. He was elected unopposed as the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Kisan Kathore took back his nomination just before the deadline. The deadline to withdraw the nomination was 10 am on Sunday.