Veteran Maharashtra leader Sharad Pawar on Wednesday sided with ruling ally and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the Bihar Vs Maharashtra tussle over the Sushant Singh Rajput case, saying the Mumbai police should be given a chance. He also issued a public reprimand to Parth Pawar, the son of his nephew Ajit Pawar, who had echoed the BJP's demand for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
"We haven't looked into it seriously. It is immature," Sharad Pawar, 79, said on demands for a CBI investigation into the actor's death on June 14.
The Mumbai police said Sushant Singh Rajput died by suicide and it has questioned over 50 people while investigating whether the young star was pushed over the edge because of nepotism and cliques in Bollywood. The Bihar police started a parallel inquiry following a complaint by the actor's family, which accused his friend Rhea Chakraborty of taking money from him and mentally harassing him.
A CBI probe was ordered after Sushant Singh Rajput's family sought one, saying they had no confidence in the Mumbai police investigation.
Maharashtra's ruling Shiv Sena accused the Nitish Kumar government of politicizing the case ahead of assembly elections due later this year.
"I have full faith in the police in Maharashtra. And if after doing this detailed probe someone wants a probe by the CBI or other agencies then I won't oppose it," Sharad Pawar told reporters.
"I have known the Maharashtra Police and Mumbai Police for 50 years. Have full faith in them. I don't want to go into the allegations. This is not such an important issue," he said.
Mr Pawar brushed off the speculation about state minister Aaditya Thackeray's involvement. "I don't know with what intention the Thackerays are being dragged in this," he said.
The Sena has accused the BJP of dragging the Thackerays into the controversy and latching on to social media theories circulating around Aaditya Thackeray.
"What has Aaditya Thackeray got to do with the Sushant Singh Rajput case? It seems the opposition still cannot digest that the Shiv Sena-led government has come to power in the state," senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut told reporters last week.
Aaditya Thackeray, the son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had earlier said he and his family were being targeted as part of "dirty politics". Without naming anyone, he said the allegations were just evidence of "political stomach-ache" stemming from frustration.
Based on Sushant Singh Rajput's father's complaint, the Enforcement Directorate is investigating allegations of a swindle and money-laundering.
So two Central agencies, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, are looking into the case.
The Supreme Court is hearing Rhea Chakraborty's request to transfer all the cases to Maharashtra.
Both the Maharashtra government and Rhea Chakraborty say none but the Maharashtra police have jurisdiction in the case.
"The Bihar government should not have interfered in the matter of Sushant Singh Rajput. Over the last few years, Sushant was a Mumbaikar. Mumbai gave him prosperity and Bihar didn't stand by him during his struggle," an article in Sena mouthpiece Saamana read earlier this week.