Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise was long predicted to be an unwritten agenda on the manifesto of political parties ahead of the upcoming Bihar Elections.
From #JusticeforSSR campaign with posters made by BJP’s cultural cell to the actor’s cousin bagging nomination; Sushant’s death remains to be the most-milked topic in the political scenario.
The dual task force
It all began when Sushant’s father KK Singh filed a complaint with the Bihar Police against Rhea Chakraborty for abetment to suicide and defrauding; their family lawyer Vikas Singh made a sensational allegation on Mumbai Police, claiming that the city cops were not interesting in filing an FIR.
He told Times Now, “on 25th February, the family had reported to Bandra police saying, 'he is not in good company and please ensure nothing untoward happens to him'.”
He further added that Patna Police too was hesitant in filing the FIR but did so when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar stepped in.
Thus, narrative distinctive emerged between the Mumbai Police and Bihar Police, who conducted independent investigations in the city.
Mudslinging of two state governments
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced that recommendations had been sent to the Union Home Ministry by Bihar's Home Secretary recommending a CBI probe.
The Bihar CM said Mumbai Police was not doing its job "properly" in the SSR case. He said it was strange that the Maharashtra Police DG had failed to respond to repeated calls made by his Bihar counterpart.
As a counter move, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said he deplored attempts to question the efficiency of the Mumbai police in handling the probe into the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
He said the state police were capable of probing the case, an assertion that comes in the backdrop of the growing clamour for a CBI probe in the actor's death.
DGP Gupteshwar Pandey
Bihar's former Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey came to light after sending a police team to probe the actor's death in Mumbai.
While Pandey was hailed by SSR fans for doing his bit, he took VRS days before the Election Commission announced the dates for the Assembly poll, and the model code of conduct was imposed in the state.
Since then, Pandey was again targeted by the Shiv Sena, whose leader Sanjay Raut alleging that he had the agenda of using the Sushant case for political mileage.
However, Pandey denied all the allegations against him, claiming that he was just helping Sushant's father get justice.
Days later it was reported that Pandey joined Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U).
However, after AIIMS reported hinted at suicide and no foul play in Rajput’s death, the party denied Pandey a poll ticket.
He also wrote on social media and said that his well-wishers are disheartened with the fact that he would not be contesting the election.
MLA Neeraj Kumar Singh Bablu
Last week, the BJP released another list of candidates for the third phase of the Bihar Assembly elections, renominating late actor Sushant Singh Rajput's cousin and sitting MLA Neeraj Kumar Singh Bablu from Chhatapur constituency in Supaul district.
With public sentiments running high for the late actor, Bablu's nomination was predictable.
Na bhoole hain, na bhulne denge
Last month, stickers and masks bearing photos of Rajput were seen in various places in Bihar, where the BJP launched a campaign seeking justice for the late actor.
The BJP's cultural cell- Kala Sanskriti Manch- has released them with the message "Na bhoole hain, na bhulne denge" (we have neither forgotten nor will we let anyone forget).
The road to elections
What began as a ‘national movement’ demanding justice for the late actor, the case took a dramatic turn over the course of five months.
From Rhea’s arrest and release for possession of narcotics to the alleged Bollywood drug nexus, this case transformed into everything but the so-called ‘mystery’ behind SSR’s death.
Not to mention, the entire film fraternity also came together and applied for legal action against channels that engaged in a derogatory media trail that defamed actors.
Even though the AIIMS report has ruled out any foul play in Rajput’s death indicating a clear case of suicide, the CBI continues its probe in the case of abetment to suicide.
As the Sushant element begins to dry out with conspiracy theories being snubbed by investigating agencies, it will be interesting to see how political parties perform given the outcome in the coming days.
The elections for 243 Assembly seats will be held in three phases -- for 71 seats on October 28, for 94 seats on November 3, and the remaining 78 on November 7. The results will be announced on November 10.