Since 2014, BJP IT cell has used social media to tarnish and defame many opposition leaders by circulating fabrications. Taking the cue from WhatsApp forwards BJP leader Anantkumar Hegde accused Devendra Fadnavis’s 80-hour power stint in Maharashtra as planned “drama” to protect Rs 40,000 crore in central funds and return it safely. One BJP leader taking on another BJP leader has embarrassed BJP. The controversy-prone MP from Karnataka also said that it took “15 hours” for Mr. Fadnavis to make sure the money was safe.
While campaigning in Yellapur in his Uttara Kannada constituency for by-polls Hegde said “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 a majority, why did he become Chief Minister? This is the question everyone is asking. He said “more than Rs 40,000 crore” was under the Chief Minister’s control. “If the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena came to power, certainly that Rs 40,000 crore would not have gone for development and would have been (misused),” said the MP. “This was all planned earlier. It was decided that whatever happens, a big drama was necessary. Which is why there was an adjustment and he became Chief Minister. In those 15 hours, Fadnavis made sure the money went where it was supposed to go… it was kept safe. It was all returned to the Centre. If it had been kept here – the next chief minister -you know what would have happened,” Hegde claimed.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Devendra Fadnavis dismissed BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde’s statement. Neither the Centre asked for any funds nor the Maharashtra government sent it back, Fadnavis asserted even as the opposition Congress and the Shiv Sena slammed the former BJP Chief Minister. Fadnavis, however, dubbed Hegde’s claim as “absolutely wrong”, and said nothing of that sort happened.
“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. The reports are “completely wrong”. The Maharashtra government has no role in the bullet train project other than land acquisition, he asserted. “Not a single rupee of Maharashtra government has been returned to the Centre from any other project,” the former Chief Minister said. “I have not taken any such policy decision during my tenure as a chief minister or caretaker CM. Those who understand the accounting system of the Centre and States, they would know no such transfer of funds takes place,” he said. Fadnavis said the state finance department should conduct necessary inquiry and bring out the truth. “It is wrong to issue such a false statement and seek (our) reaction over it,” the BJP leader said. Fadnavis also said that he was not aware of whether Hegde made such a statement or not.
Sanjay Raut, a Rajya Sabha member of the Shiv Sena, tweeted that it was “treachery” if an 80-hour Chief Minister had moved Rs 40,000 crore from Maharashtra to the Centre.
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) December 2, 2019
NCP leader Nawab Malik said that it was not possible to transfer such a huge amount of Rs 40,000 crore back to the centre, saying such reports were being spread to hide the BJP’s defeat in Maharashtra.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted: “A union minister opened the Pandora’s box of Modi government; BJP’s anti-Maharashtra face has been unmasked. Was the federal structure being trumped? Was Rs 40,000 crore meant for the welfare of the public and farmers withdrawn due to a conspiracy? Prime Minister, Reply! (sic)”
एक केंद्रीय मंत्री ने खोली मोदी सरकार की पोल,
भाजपा का महाराष्ट्र विरोधी चेहरा बेनक़ाब हुआ
क्या संघीय ढाँचे को पाँव तले रोंद दिया गया,
क्या जनता व किसान की भलाई का ₹40,000 करोड़ एक षड्यंत्र से वापस ले लिया गया?
प्रधान मंत्री जबाब दें!https://t.co/OxvDzGtiXs
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) December 2, 2019
Fadnavis was sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister on November 23, in a surprise oath ceremony at 7.50 am. Also sworn in with him was Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar, who had promised to bring enough MLAs to help the BJP reach a majority. Mr. Pawar failed to make good on his promise and Mr. Fadnavis resigned on November 26 after being asked by the Supreme Court to prove his majority within a day.
The Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray took oath as the new Chief Minister two days later. Mr. Thackeray is leading a Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance that was formed after the Sena broke away from the BJP, its ally of over 30 years, over power-sharing.