Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday attended a programme organised by Godman Narendra Surve alias Narendra Maharaj, where he invited controversy by saying that religion was superior to political power. Earlier last week, he was spotted in a photograph with Baba Bodke of Pune, who has a number of murder cases pending against him. Fadnavis has invited severe criticism this week from the people and the opposition over these controversial statements and meetings.
Fadnavis, at the event with Narendra Surve, first paid respects to him and said that most political powers choose to walk down on the road of corruption, and it is the religious powers that get it back in the line. Surve is considered to be a close ally of the RSS and in the past has been alleged of conversion of Hindus, something he denies doing anymore. The CM’s words were not taken kindly by the opposition who said that if he was so fed up with the politics of the country, he must then give it up. Congress MLA Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil told The Hindu that since the CM was accepting his failure, he doesn’t have the right to remain in power. CM Favnavis has been a centre of criticism for paying respects to the controversial godman as well. Surve’s organisation was embroiled in a sevre battle with the late Narendra Dabholkar’s Maharashtra Andhshraddha Samiti for the former’s claim that he could cure p[atients with miracles without medical help. Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune three years ago. Surve later had to confess on camera that he couldn’t do miracles and cure patients at all, credits to a long campaign by the MANS.
Dhabolkar’s daughter Mukta Dhabolkar told The Hindu that they had expected better from the state Chief Minister. She was of the opinion that the CM’s visit to Surve’s programmes only gave certifications to the propaganda of the later, which was harmful to the interest of the state. Earlier last week, the CM was photographed with Pune’s Baba Bodke, who has been a key figure in several murder cases. The CM’s office later had clarified that Fadnavis wasn’t aware of who had accompanied people appointed by him.