The tussle between Bihar and Maharashtra governments over a CBI probe into actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death flared up today as Maharashtra's ruling Shiv Sena hit back at the Nitish Kumar government for ordering an investigation by the agency.
"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 Saamna read.
Bihar had asked for CBI investigation last week, saying Sushant Rajput's family sought a probe by the agency. Till then, both state governments had been facing strong criticism for not seeking CBI help. In Bihar, Nitish Kumar's government faced opposition barbs. In Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray government was targeted by the BJP, which is part of Bihar's ruling alliance.
In his lifetime, there had not been any instance of Sushant Rajput flaunting his Bihar origin or connections. The Bihar government came into the matter after Sushant Rajput's family filed a case against his friend Rhea Chakraborty, accusing her of financially defrauding the actor and driving him to his death.
Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment on June 14. The police said it was a case of suicide, but following allegations that the nepotism in the film industry drove him to his death, a detailed investigation was started.
Both Rhea Chakraborty and the Shiv Sena have made the point that it was the Maharashtra Police which has jurisdiction in the case.
"The Bihar police is not Interpol. Mumbai police is investigating the matter and another state should not have gotten involved in this... Everyone deserves to know the truth, but it is not true that only the CBI or the Bihar police can find it out," the Saamna article read.
The Sena article also hit out at Bihar Police chief Gupteshwar Pandey, quoting the local media to accuse him of seeking to stand in elections with BJP and JD(U) ticket. "It is laughable that he who accepted BJP candidature is now raising questions on Mumbai Police," the article read.
The article also made it clear why a CBI investigation into the matter not welcome.
The CBI is a "central agency but it is not independent or unbiased", the article said, pointing out that even Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, when they the Chief Minister and Home Minister of Gujarat, had not been keen on it after the Godhra train burning.
"Many states imposed restrictions on CBI in the past. CBI when it reached West Bengal to investigate Sharda chit fund, Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee did not just stop the CBI but also registered a case against them. Entire Kolkata got out on roads protesting against CBI and Banerjee led that protest," the article read.
The ruling allies of Bihar welcome Maharashtra's stance, claiming that the more Maharashtra will object to a CBI probe, the more they will benefit in Bihar.