The Congress on Monday demanded an answer from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on BJP MP Ananth Kumar Hegde's claim that Devendra Fadnavis was made Maharashtra chief minister last month despite lacking majority to "protect" Rs 40,000 crore in central funds under the CM's control from being "misused".
Days after Fadnavis resigned barely 80 hours after taking oath for the second time as CM, Hegde sought to give a new twist to the episode describing the government formation by the BJP as a 'drama' played out to ensure that the funds meant for development works were not misused.
Fadnavis has rejected Hegde's remarks as false.
"A (former) union minister has exposed the Modi government. BJP's anti-Maharashtra face has been exposed. Has the federal structure been crushed? Was the Rs 40,000 crore earmarked for the welfare of the public and farmers withdrawn through a a conspiracy? Prime Minister must reply!," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.
"Hegde's statement is not only sensational, but also betrays Maharashtra's interests. The Prime Minister himself should come forward and explain the situation. This kind of treatment meted out to any state is against our democratic conventions," the Congress said on its official Twitter handle.
Hegde, while addressing a gathering in Karnataka on Saturday 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 majority, why did he become CM? This is the question commonly every one asks."
"More than Rs 40,000 crore was under CM's control. If NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena come to power certainly that Rs 40,000 crore would not have gone for development work and would have gone for different things," Hegde said.
"It was entirely planned earlier itself. Once we got to know (about three parties forming government) it was decided that a drama has to be played out. So, adjustments were made and oath was taken (by Fadnavis as CM), after oath within 15 hours Fadnavis systematically ensured that it (money) reaches where it had to and protected it," the BJP leader said, speaking in Kannada.
The entire amount was given back to central government, or else certainly the "next Chief Minister would have...you know what would have happened...", he added.