Photo of Fadnavis with gangster sparks political storm

fadnavis2 Maharashtra Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis | PTI

This is a very interesting tale of a goon's journey to the doorsteps of the Bharatiya Janata Party via the Nationalist Congress Party. The men at the centre of controversy are Kamlakar alias Baba Bodke from Pune, and by being seen with Bodke, Maharashtra Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. 

The controversy started after a photograph in which Bodke, a notorious goon facing various charges including murder, was seen with Fadnavis went viral a couple of days ago.  

Former deputy chief minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Monday lashed out at Fadnavis and asked how Bodke managed to get so close to the chief minister. BJP is no longer the party of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, he said. “They are now entertaining people who have been charged with dreaded MCOCA Act and under section 302 of Indian Penal Code,” Pawar was reported to have said.

Interestingly, Baba Bodke had joined the NCP in 2009. Pawar himself had welcomed the gangster to the NCP and famously stated that his party would transform Bodke. However, the party was soon forced to expel him as it faced huge criticism from people in Pune.

Now, the same Bodke has arrived at the doorsteps of the BJP. It is reliably learnt that Bodke wanted to contest assembly elections in 2014 and was keen to secure a ticket from Shiv Sena. He wanted to contest against Congress legislator Sangram Thopte from Bhor constituency. After his efforts to secure a ticket failed, he moved away from Shiv Sena. When Fadnavis government came to power,  Bodke moved closer to the BJP.

According to reports in the regional media, Bodke has 12 cases registered against him. Charges against him range from threatening and extortion to murder. 

After the photograph raised many eyebrows, Fadnavis' office issued a statement that the chief minister did not know anything about the background of Bodke and wasn't aware as to how he managed to get himself photographed with the CM. 

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