Bengaluru: In a shocker from within the BJP camp, former Union minister Anantkumar Hegde has claimed that Devendra Fadnavis was hurriedly sworn-in as the Maharashtra CM on November 23 despite the saffron party lacking majority as part of a “drama to save” central funds worth Rs 40,000 crore.
Speaking at an election campaign meeting in Sirsi Taluk's Bankanaala on November 29, the Uttara Kannada MP had said, "You all know, the other day in Maharashtra, our person (Fadnavis) became CM for just 80 hours. Then resigned. Why was this drama staged? Didn't we know? Why did he become CM knowing we didn't have majority? This is a question everyone will naturally ask. The CM had access to more than Rs 40,000 crore. He had control over this. If Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena came to power, it definitely won't be used for development. This was all planned before.”
Hegde went on to claim that the money was “sent to the central government” within 15 hours of Fadnavis being sworn in.
"We decided we have to do something. Some big drama. That's why we adjusted a bit and the CM was sworn in. In 15 hours, he sent the money to where it needs to go; sent it all to central government. If it was here, then the next CM… you know what would happen," he said.
A video of the statement has also been uploaded on Hedge's Facebook page.
Rubbishing the claim, Fadnavis said that whatever has been said against him is totally false. "Maharashtra government has never asked any amount from the Centre regarding the bullet train project," he added.
Fadnavis was sworn in by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in a hush-hush ceremony on November 23 for a second term after stunning midnight developments where NCP's Ajit Pawar had revolted against his party and propped up a government with the BJP.
However, three days later, Fadnavis resigned as CM ahead of a floor test ordered by the Supreme Court, admitting he does not have the numbers. His deputy Ajit Pawar also resigned.
Subsequently, on November 28, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray took oath as the new chief minister of Maharashtra, heading an unlikely alliance of the Sena, the NCP and the Congress.
The Shiv Sena broke up its three-decade alliance with the BJP over sharing of the chief minister's post after contesting the assembly elections together and the combine winning a comfortable majority.