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In poll-bound Bihar, Sushant death case becomes political

With the next state elections barely two months away and the Election Commission having already started the poll preparations despite the corona pandemic, the political class has been only too busy to keep the issue alive as they view it as a major political opportunity

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Has the tragic death of Patna born Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput become subjected to politics? What has triggered this debate is the way Bihar politicians~even from the ruling BJP and JD-U~have suddenly gone on seeking for a CBI probe into Sushant’s suicide while actor’s father has registered a case with the Bihar police for a proper investigation, apparently not being satisfied with the Maharashtra police probe.

What is further intriguing, chief minister Nitish Kumar has himself gone on record saying that his government could think of recommending for the CBI probe if Sushant’s father KK Singh who registered the FIR in Patna earlier this week demanded for a probe by the Central investigating agency.

BJP leader and deputy chief minister went to the extent of saying that “Every party wants a CBI probe”. Experts wonder over such demands coming from the ruling parties even after a case has been registered with the Bihar police and two separate teams have already rushed to Maharashtra to investigate the suicide mystery.

“It seems the state government only wants to keep this issue alive for political gains. Had the Bihar government been serious about providing justice to the Sushant family, the chief minister should have directly talked to his Maharashtra counterpart and requested him to cooperate with the Bihar police,” commented prominent political expert Pro DM Diwakar.

“The problem is that they (BJP-led NDA) have nothing to do with the Sushant issue, at all. They are only concerned about two things~first they want to highlight the alarming law and order situation under the present three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra headed by Uddhav Thackeray and secondly, want to make political gains in view of the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar,” explained Diwakar who served as director to Patna-based AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies.

“Ek CM ko dusre CM se baat karne me pareshani kya hai (why a CM doesn’t want to talk to another CM over the issue)?” he asked.

Experts further say making demand for a CBI probe is just a ploy to keep the issue lingering for long. According to them, recently, three important cases were handed over to the CBI but the latter is yet to conclude its investigations even after many years. They include Ranvir Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh mukhia murder case (June 2012), teenager Navruna Charkavorty kidnapping-cum-murder case (September 2012) and journalist Rajdeo Ranjan murder case (May 2016).

In the case of Brahmeshwar Singh murder, the CBI announced a cash reward of Rs10 lakh~more than twice~to anyone who provides substantial information to them yet the central agency is still to get a lead in this case. Infamous Srijan scam involving transfer of government funds worth over several billions to the bank account of an NGO too has been pending with the CBI for long. “That is enough to explain what will be the fate of the Sushant case if transferred to the CBI,” asked an analyst wishing not to be quoted.

So, why are the state politicians so much interested in the Sushant case? “The answer is simple~the upcoming Bihar assembly elections,” they cite.

With the next state elections barely two months away and the Election Commission having already started the poll preparations despite the corona pandemic, the political class has been only too busy to keep the issue alive as they view it as a major political opportunity. According to observers, the young actor has huge fans following across various castes and communities, and the political leaders apparently want to cash in on it by projecting themselves as the well wishers of the Sushant family.

The second point, experts add, is the social background of the actor who comes from a powerful Rajput caste. Of the total 19 per cent population of forward castes in Bihar, Rajputs lead the group with 6.5 percent, followed by Bhumihar and Brahmins, both having 5.5 percent population each, and Kayashtha whose share is 1.5 percent in the population. This could be one of the reasons why everyone wants to have the support of this caste.

Of late, the Rajputs have shown their inclinations towards the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) though which too has alarmed the NDA leaders. How Sushant issue has come to dominate the state politics can be underlined from the fact that scores of politicians made a virtual beeline to the childhood home of the actor in Patna’s Rajiv Nagar locality and then joined his fans’ chorus for a CBI probe into his death.

The prominent visitors to visit Sushant’s home included Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Law minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar’s deputy chief minister, Manoj Tiwari, former BJP’s Delhi chief, Jaikumar Singh, JD-U minister, Sanjay Singh, JD-U’s chief spokesperson, Tejashwi Yadav, Bihar Opposition leader from the RJD and Jagadanand Singh, state RJD president.