May 6, 2021 9:09:27 pm
THE BJP appointed Sanjay Kakade as the vice-president of the party’s Pune unit on Thursday, two weeks after the former Rajya Sabha MP and real estate developer was arrested by city police in a case involving a gangster’s car rally.
“I am happy to appoint you as the vice-president of the state BJP,” said state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil in a written communication to Kakade.
“The work, done by you, resolved people’s woes, and your good performance in Parliament is worth praising. I am confident that your political and social work experience and public connection would help the party grow,” Patil added.
On April 21, the city police arrested Kakade over a car rally held in February after the release of Pune gangster Gaja Marne from Taloja central prison in Navi Mumbai. Kakade, who was granted bail on the same day, was arrested for allegedly conspiring to arrange the rally and spreading its images and videos on social media.
Marne was released from the prison after being acquitted in two murder cases. The rally had created a controversy and several offences were registered against Marne and his aides.
Kakade had said that his arrest was politically motivated. Last year, Kakade and his wife were arrested for giving “death threats to his brother-in-law” and were released on bail.
He was elected as an Independent member in the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra and was later backed by the BJP. As his term ended in April 2020, Kakade claimed a BJP ticket to return to the Rajya Sabha but the party had preferred Udayanraje Bhosale, who had quit the NCP to join the BJP but failed to win the bypoll of the Satara Lok Sabha seat.
Kakade had played a major role as the BJP came to power for the first time in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in 2017. However, the city BJP later sidelined him and his supporters.
The BJP’s city unit did not comment on Kakade’s appointment as the state unit vice-president. “There is no practise of the local unit commenting on appointments at state level as it’s a decision of the state unit,” said a city BJP leader.
City BJP chief Jagdish Mulik and MP Girish Bapat did not respond to calls by this correspondent.
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