The Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra on Wednesday withdrew the general consent it extended to the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct probe in the state, setting up grounds for a fresh face-off with the BJP. The move makes it necessary for the central agency to get the state government's permission to conduct investigations in the state. Earlier, several opposition-ruled states including Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and more recently, Rajasthan, had withdrawn general consent, effectively shutting the gates to the CBI.
The Maharashtra government's move also comes hours after the CBI filed a case to investigate the ratings scam on the basis of a complaint filed in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.
The Mumbai police, which has accused three channels, including Republic TV, of rigging ratings, is currently investigating the case. Republic TV has denied any wrongdoing.
Speculation is that this could very well become the second instance of an investigation making its way from the Mumbai Police to the CBI via a BJP or NDA-ruled state like in the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
Two months ago, in the Sushant Singh Rajput case, an FIR was filed in Bihar and the Supreme Court order in the matter had ordered the CBI to take over the investigation from the Mumbai police.
The handing over of the case to the CBI in the Sushant Rajput case had led to a huge row between Maharashtra's ruling alliance and the BJP, which rules Bihar in alliance with Nitish Kumar.
The Supreme Court order ensures that the state government's move will not affect the agency's investigations in that case.
The question of a CBI investigation in the Sushant Rajput case had led to a huge row between Maharashtra's ruling alliance and the BJP, which rules Bihar in alliance with Nitish Kumar.
The Mumbai police had been targeted by a section over its handling of the case amid speculation that the 34-year-old actor who was found dead in his Mumbai apartment in June, could have been murdered.
Republic TV, which has been vocal in its criticism of the Mumbai police, has accused it of carrying out a vendetta through the ratings case. The channel has demanded a CBI investigation into the Mumbai Police allegations that it had rigged television ratings for profit.
On Saturday, following a complaint by "Golden Rabbit
Communications", the Lucknow Police registered a case and the Yogi Adityanath government recommended an investigation by the CBI. Within 24 hours, the central government had cleared the proposal.