In a huge embarrassment for the BJP, party’s senior leader in Karnataka, Anantkumar Hegde, has sensationally revealed that Devendra Fadnavis was allowed to become the chief minister of Maharashtra for 80 hours despite lack of majority to move Rs 40,000 crore to the Centre. The saffron party has gone into a damage control blaming a WhatsApp forward for the gaffe.
According to news agency ANI, addressing a gathering in Uttara Kannada on Sunday, Hegde said, “You all know our man in Maharashtra became CM for 80 hours. Then, Fadnavis resigned. Why did he do this drama? Didn’t we know that we don’t have a majority and yet he became CM. This is the question everyone is asking.”
He added, “A CM has access to around Rs 40,000 Cr from Centre.He knew if Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena govt comes to power it would misuse funds meant for development. So it was decided that there should be a drama.Fadnavis became CM&in 15hrs he moved Rs40,000 Cr back to Centre,”
Ananth K Hegde,BJP: A CM has access to around Rs 40,000 Cr from Centre.He knew if Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena govt comes to power it would misuse funds meant for development. So it was decided that there should be a drama.Fadnavis became CM&in 15hrs he moved Rs40,000 Cr back to Centre pic.twitter.com/3SNymN1eMQ
— ANI (@ANI) December 2, 2019
No sooner were his comments reported widely, the BJP moved in with lightning speed to clarify that Hegde was perhaps relying on a WhatsApp forward being circulated in Mumbai. Fadnavis, for his part, termed the claims made by Hegde as ‘false.’ “No such major policy decision has been taken by me as CM. All such allegations are false,” ANI quoted him as saying.
The BJP had stunned everyone by forming the government with the help of NCP’s Ajit Pawar on 23 November despite the party lacking a majority in the assembly. 80 hours later, Fadnavis was forced to resign after the Supreme Court directed the BJP to prove its majority in the assembly.
Uddhav Thackeray later took the oath of office as the new chief minister after his party, the Shiv Sena, formed an alliance with the NCP and the Congress.