Maharashtra cabinet minister Nitin Raut Monday responded to former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis's statement that the government should give farmers Rs 25,000 per hectare, saying the BJP leader should first explain if he returned Rs40,000 crore state funds to the Centre.
Fadnavis Sunday said in the Assembly that during campaigning, Uddhav Thackeray had demanded Rs 25,000 per hectare for farmers who had suffered crop damage, and he should now ensure the relief.
Raut said: "Fadnavis should first explain the remark by his party's senior leader and MP Anant Hegde, that he became the CM for three days only to return Rs 40,000 crore to the Centre. The state has been put under a debt burden of Rs 6. 71 lakh crore by the previous government. We are not against aid to farmers, but the BJP should explain how Fadnavis handed over Rs 40,000 crore meant for farmers to the Centre."
Raut was talking to mediapersons on his first visit to Nagpur after taking oath as Cabinet Minister.
When pointed out that Fadnavis had dismissed Hegde's claims, Raut said, "Since the statement was made by a senior BJP leader, I suspect daal me kuchh kala hai (there's something amiss). Fadnavis should take responsibility."
The Congress leader said the government would show how it could pull the state out of the debt burden through a white paper, as detailed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Asked if the government would complete the developmental projects started under Fadnavis in Vidarbha, Raut said, "The late Balasaheb Thackeray did not support a separate Vidarbha state. He had promised he would do everything to develope Vidarbha. I am sure this will be done under Uddhavji's leadership."