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Why is Sushant significant in Bihar

Parties of all colour seek CBI probe into the actor’s death By Jaybrota Das

Have you ever asked yourself why actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death has taken a political colour in poll-bound Bihar?

From the BJP to the Opposition Congress, every political party is echoing his family’s demand for a CBI probe into his “suicide”.

Sushant, who has been part of some of the big box-office hits such as MS DhoniPK, Chicchore was from Bihar’s capital city Patna.

He is believed to have committed suicide on June 14 at his Bandra flat in Mumbai allegedly “out of depression and no work”.

Soon after his death people from all spheres of profession expressed their anger on social media and some even burnt effigies of producer-director Karan Johar and actor Salman Khan because insiders in the film industry say the duo had “harassed” Sushant given their clout in Bollywood.

When the investigation into his death was taken up by the Maharashtra state government agencies, the Raabta actor’s family said they didn’t trust the government and hence wanted a CBI probe.

The Scramble

Senior BJP leader and Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi visited Sushant’s family immediately after the news of his death came in to offer their condolences. The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) also had a meeting demanding that Sushant’s July release, Dil Bechara, should be made tax free in Bihar.

No sooner did the family seek a CBI inquiry, LJP president Chirag Paswan wrote to state chief minister Nitish Kumar and requested him to see that the central agency probes the actor’s death. Soon, Jan Adhikar Party president Pappu Yadav came in support of the family.

The BJP did not demand a CBI inquiry, but its spokespersons across India said: “We want the matter thoroughly probed because it is a great loss for Bihar”.

The Family

Sushant came from a political family. JDU-turned-BJP MLA Neeraj Kumar Bablu is his cousin. Bablu since 2005 has been representing Chhatapur in Saharsa district.

Sushant’s family and friends claimed that the Kai Po Che actor, too, had political ambitions.

His family includes business persons, bureaucrats and politicians. Reports claimed that when he visited Bihar in 2019 for a family event, he told his friends and family that “he would go big in state politics after this year”.

Condolences received by the family since his death cut across party lines.

The Caste Factor

The Karni Sena, the community that Sushant belonged to and which represents the Rajputs in Bihar, hit the streets after his death calling for a CBI inquiry.

Though the Bihar boy enjoyed a pan-India fan following, one had to see the crowd that gathered at Patna’s Kargil Chowk to pay tribute to him on June 16.

The Karni Sena, which is believed to have never been on good terms with Sushant, especially after the Shudh Desi Romance actor dropped the “Rajput” from his name on Twitter when a few Karni Sena members allegedly slapped director Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of Padmavat in Jaipur over “distortion of history”.

But the Karni Sena knows what makes for good publicity. Sushant is still a rallying point for Bihari Rajputs.

A leader who is eyeing a BJP ticket for the upcoming Bihar elections to be held in October, said: “The show of mourning by everybody is an attempt to woo his powerful caste.”

The Rajputs and the Bhumihar communities are the most vocal of the upper castes in Bihar; and have a presence of 19 MLAs in the Bihar Assembly.

Every political party in Bihar has made efforts to woo the community, including the crusader for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe section, the RJD. However, when this October Bihar goes to the polls to elect a new Assembly, Sushant Singh Rajput in his passing, could just be a tide turner.

Team NewsFile