MUMBAI: Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis asserted that he was not made the CM for some hours just to ‘protect’ funds worth Rs 40,000 crore as claimed by BJP MP Ananth Hegde.
“It is absolutely wrong and I refute it completely,” Fadnavis told reporters at Nagpur on Monday. “No such thing happened. These are completely false claims. I took no policy decision when I was Chief Minister or caretaker Chief Minister. Those who know the accounting systems of the state as well as the centre know it that this is not the way things happen. The state government’s finance department can investigate such claims.”
No big policy decision was made except to allocate `5,000 crore for farmers who bore the brunt of unseasonal rains, Fadnavis added.
He referred to the bullet train project, which the new government stated will be reviewed. “A company of the central government is implementing the bullet train project, where the Maharashtra government’s role is restricted only to land acquisition. That is why no funds have come to Maharashtra. So, neither the Centre asked for any funds nor the Maharashtra government sent it back,” Fadnavis stated. “Not a single rupee of the Maharashtra government has been returned to the Centre.”
Both the Shiv Sena and the Congress, however, refused to give a clean chit to Fadnavis on the controversial statement made by Hegde. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut tweeted saying the purported act of Fadnavis was a “treachery”. Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant sought explanation from Fadnavis over the issue.
SLIP Of tongue?
In Uttara Kannada, Hegde told voters that Fadnavis was made the CM for 80 hours so that he could move Rs 40000 cr worth of funds meant for state development back to the Centre. “This was all planned earlier. It was decided that whatever happens, a big drama was necessary,” he said on Saturday.