Karnataka

Fadnavis was made CM to ‘protect 40K crore central funds’: Anant Hegde’s remarks spark storm

Anant Kumar Hegde

Anant Kumar Hegde  

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Fadnavis issues denial; Maharashtra Government unlikely to order probe

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday denied ‘secretly’ clearing files pertaining to transfer of funds to the Centre during his shortlived, 80-hour second innings.

The BJP leader said not a single penny of the State’s share was diverted as claimed in news reports following sensational claims by former Union minister and Uttara Kannada MP Anant Kumar Hegde, which set off social media storm. A video clip of the MP’s remarks went viral on Monday.

Speaking at an election meeting on Saturday in Uttara Kannada district, Mr. Hegde said Mr. Fadnavis was made chief minister even though he did not have a majority, for a reason.

“All of us know. Recently our man became chief minister in Maharashtra for just 80 hours. Why did we have to do this drama? Did we not know that we did not have majority? Then why did we do this drama, is a common question everyone is asking. Funds of over ₹40,000 crore was at the discretion of the chief minister. If Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena came to power, that money would have been misused. Definitely that money wouldn't have gone for development, they would have eaten it,” Mr. Hegde is seen as saying. The funds were allegedly set aside for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Bullet Train project estimated to cost ₹1.08 lakh crore.

“After learning of this, everything was planned — if need be create a big drama. So we did some adjustments and swore in the chief minister. Within 15 hours after he was sworn in, the chief minister ensured the fund will not be misused and gave it back to the Union government. If not, the next chief minister would have ...you know what....”, he adds in the video clip.

Mr. Fadnavis took an oath for the second term as Chief Minister of Maharashtra in a hurried ceremony in the early hours of November 23. He resigned on November 26, just three days after taking an oath and a day before a floor test in the State Assembly.

Denying the allegations, Mr Fadnavis said, “Not a singly penny from the State’s kitty has been diverted, I assure you no major policy decision has been taken in this regard. All allegations are false. Let me tell you the bullet train project is being carried out by the Centre and the State has no role in it, except acquisition of land. I want to reiterate: no money was given, no money was taken from Centre during the 80-hrs I was the chief minister,” he said following Mr. Hegde’s remarks.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 5:59:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/fadnavis-was-made-cm-to-protect-40k-crore-central-funds-anant-kumar-hegde/article30137525.ece

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