As the CBI got cracking on the Sushant Singh Rajput death probe here, political barbs continued to fly in Maharashtra on Friday, with Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad predicting that Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey would be the next home minister of his state’s new government.
“Just in case Nitish Kumar returns as the Chief Minister, this DGP (Pandey) of Bihar will certainly be the Home Minister,” tweeted Awhad, a senior Nationalist Congress Party leader.
Even ruling ally Shiv Sena also targeted the police officer by saying that “his boundless joy was apparent on his face after the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict (on handing over the Sushant case to the CBI)”.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut pointed at how Pandey termed it “a victory of justice over injustice” and said the IPS officer “was only short of waving the Bharatiya Janata Party flag while talking to the media that day (August 19)” in Patna.
Reiterating that a conspiracy to malign the Mumbai Police and Maharashtra government was hatched, he also slammed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s reactions after the verdict, saying it sounded like a “poll victory speech”.
“In Bihar, many cases of murders, killings have been handed over to the CBI — how many real accused have been nabbed so far? Those raising fingers at the Mumbai Police investigations must study the SC judgment. Maharashtra has the best law and order in the country and nobody should teach us that, especially those wearing ‘khaki’ uniforms and sporting a party flag,” Raut added.
NCP President Sharad Pawar also stressed the need to ensure that the Sushant case probe doesn’t go the (Narendra) Dabholkar way.
Rationalist Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013. A year later, the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, but his family has contended that seven years since, there is no progress in the matter.
The CBI team descended here late on Thursday to investigate the Sushant death case, in which the Mumbai Police and the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray have come under political fire from the opposition BJP here, as well as the Bihar Police and politicians. Shiv Sena, NCP, and the Congress make up the coalition partners in Maharashtra.
The high-profile case has resulted in an upheaval in Bollywood, with various players adopting strong postures. Even a conspiracy theory was floated, claiming that many past murders in Bollywood were passed off as suicides.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police on Friday started cooperating with the visiting CBI team, as was assured by state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh two days ago.