Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday spoke out on the ugly row over actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, with a veiled attack on those like Kangana Ranaut who, he said, had slandered Mumbai, its police and all “sons of Maharashtra” including his son Aaditya Thackeray.
“Someone who committed suicide is now a Bihar son. He may be, but because of him, you maligned sons of Maharashtra. You even maligned my son Aaditya. So whatever you said, keep it yourself. We are clean,” he said, speaking at the Shiv Sena’s annual Dussehra rally.
This is the first time the Chief Minister has spoken about the conspiracy theories surrounding Sushant Singh Rajput’s death that targeted the actor’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and his son Aaditya Thackeray among others.
Without naming Kangana Ranaut, he said “those crying for justice” accused Mumbai Police of being useless. “Mumbai is PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), there are drug addicts everywhere – they are painting such picture,” he said.
“They don’t know in our house we grow tulsi not ganja. Ganja fields are in your state, you know where, not in our Maharashtra,” he said, in a pointed attack on Ms Ranaut who comes from Himachal Pradesh and has relentlessly attacked the state government as a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.
“I’m proud of my Mumbai Police. The police who caught a terrorist alive – the only police. I’m proud of the police,” he said, in reference to the capture and trial of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab.
“Mumbai has become PoK they say. So this is also an insult on PM. He had said will bring PoK in India. It has been six years so it is his failure,” he said, not sparing the Prime Minister and his party ether.
Mr Thackeray’s Shiv Sena-led coalition government has found itself in the crosshairs of Ms Ranaut and other supporters of the BJP, which is in opposition in the state, over the death of Sushant Singh in June this year.
Mumbai Police said it was a case of suicide but egged on by social media theories, the actor’s family filed a complaint against Rhea Chakraborty and her relatives, accusing her of stealing his money and driving him to end his life.
Fanned by tabloid-style media coverage, the complaint spawned three separate inquiries by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate and the Narcotics Control Bureau which have not unearthed anything against Ms Chakraborty so far except that she helped Sushant Singh Rajput buy banned drugs.
However, Ms Ranaut and others like her have now pivoted to attacking the state government and the police now for other issues like allegedly curbing their right to free speech.