- Posters with Sushant Rajput's photo put up in various places in Bihar
- Stickers, masks put out by the BJP's cultural cell "Kala Sanskriti Manch"
- ushant Rajput, who was from Bihar, was found dead in June
Images of actor Sushant Singh Rajput on posters, banners, stickers and masks launched by the BJP in Bihar ahead of elections have drawn protests by opposition parties.
Stickers and masks put out by the BJP's cultural cell "Kala Sanskriti Manch" feature Sushant Singh Rajput -- whose death on June 14 and subsequent investigations have captivated the nation - and the message: "Na bhoole hain, na bhulne denge (we have neither forgotten nor will we let anyone forget)".
The message was seen to underline the role of the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government in pushing for a CBI investigation into the death of the Bollywood actor, who was from Bihar, and "ensuring that a promising young son of the state" got justice.
Varun Kumar Singh, state coordinator of the BJP Kala Sanskriti Manch told news agency ANI that 30,000 stickers and posters and 30,000 face masks have been printed so far. "We have been using these as a sign of a movement to seek justice for the late actor who died in Mumbai," Mr Singh said.
"It is not a political issue but a matter close to my heart. We had demanded a CBI inquiry to probe Sushant Singh Rajput's death. I had even sent letters to ministers demanding justice for him (Sushant). We started this movement on June 16. He was an artist and so am I," he said.
The opposition RJD and Congress have accused the BJP of exploiting the Sushant Singh Rajput case for its political agenda. "Nitish Kumar and BJP have no answers for the flood and the administrative failures. To divert the attention of the people, they only have the Sushant and Rhea case," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
Bihar BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said, "BJP Kala Sanskriti Manch has been working for the welfare of the artists. They are paying tribute to Sushant Singh Rajput and they want justice. It was never a political step but has been done in solidarity."
Rajeev Ranjan of Nitish Kumar's JDU said the move cannot be linked to elections, given that poll dates for Bihar have yet to be announced. "Since the election dates have not yet been disclosed, one cannot connect the actor's (Sushant) death with the upcoming election in Bihar," Mr Ranjan claimed, adding, "Instigating someone to commit suicide is the matter of concern."
He added pointedly: "The Maharashtra government was controlling the state police."
Investigations into Sushant Singh Rajput's death in Mumbai on June 14 saw a turf war between the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra and the JDU-BJP government in Bihar.
The Bihar government plunged into the case nearly a month after the death after the actor's father filed a complaint accusing Sushant Singh Rajput's friend Rhea Chakraborty and her family of mentally harassing him, exploiting him for money and driving him to his death.
Bihar handed the case over to the CBI. After Rhea Chakraborty sought that all investigations be handled by the Mumbai Police, the Supreme Court decided in favour of the CBI taking over the probe, which was seen by the Bihar government as a victory.