Actor Vivek Oberoi must be investigated for possible links to the drug abuse scandal being probed by the Narcotics Control Bureau or NCB, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Friday. Mr Oberoi is a vocal supporter of the BJP who starred as Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an adulatory biopic.
Mr Deshmukh's comments came after a Congress party delegation met him with the demand following a raid at Mr Oberoi's residence by the Bengaluru Police on Thursday in connection with the drugs scandal involving the Kannada film industry.
The police were looking for Vivek Oberoi's wife Priyanka Alva's brother Aditya who has been evading arrest after being named as in the drugs probe by the Central Crime Branch of the Bengaluru Police.
Priyanka Alva, the daughter of former Karnataka minister Jeevaraj Alva and Nandini Alva, has been served a notice by the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch as well, according to news agency ANI.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has said, "Vivek Oberoi has been a star campaigner for the BJP and he along with Sandip Ssingh had made a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 27 languages. The Bengaluru Police have come here to investigate the drug connections but the NCB is not investigating this. We will request the NCB to probe this and what connection Vivek Oberoi has to drugs should be probed by the NCB."
"If the NCB does not do an enquiry properly then the Mumbai Police will be asked to probe the case," Mr Deshmukh said.
Over past few months, the Shiv Sena-Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government in Maharashtra has countered attacks by the BJP over the widening probe into drug abuse allegations involving Bollywood by targeting film industry members close to the opposition party.
The drug scandal in Bollywood erupted after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June which was picked up by the BJP and its supporters as a talking point to attack the Maharashtra government and the Mumbai Police.
Countering the charges in late August, the Maharashtra Home Minister had called for an investigation into allegations against filmmaker Sandip Ssingh, best known for producing the PM Modi biopic that featured Vivek Oberoi.