New Delhi: In a statement that could stoke fresh controversy in Maharashtra, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Anant Kumar Hegde disclosed why Devendra Fadnavis was made state’s Chief Minister for 80-hours despite lacking majority. The BJP MP for Uttara Kannada (Karnataka), claimed that Fadnavis took oath in haste to prevent central funds worth Rs 40,000 crore from being misused.

Claiming that the BJP staged a ‘drama’ to save the funds from being misused, 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 majority and yet he became CM. This is the question everyone is asking.”

He asserted that a CM has access to around Rs 40,000 Cr from Centre and Fadnavis knew if Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena government comes to power it would misuse funds meant for development. “So it was decided that there should be a drama. Fadnavis became CM and in 15 hours he moved Rs 40,000 Crore back to Centre”, Hegde added further.

The BJP leader made the remarks while campaigning for party candidate Shivaram Hebbar in Karnataka’s Yellapur constituency.

Rejecting Hegde’s claims, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said that no such major policy decision has been taken by me as CM. “All such allegations are false”, the former Chief Minister clarified.

In the Maharashtra Assembly elections, BJP and Sena had contested the polls together but they failed to reach consensus over the Chief Minister’s post,  following which the parties ended their decade old alliance.

On November 23 at around 7:30 AM, Fadnavis and NCP’s Ajit Pawar had taken oath as Chief Minister and deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra respectively early Saturday morning. But two days later, the Fadnavis-led government toppled in a dramatic turn of events, with first, Ajit Pawar stepping down from his post; then, Fadnavis tendering his resignation as the Chief Minister.

The decision from the leaders came after the Supreme Court passed an order for a floor test in the Assembly to prove the majority to form the government in the state. Last week on Thursday, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (Sena-NCP-Congress) formed government in Maharashtra.