Pictures, posters, stickers and banners of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput launched by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar, ahead of the state elections, have received massive criticism from the opposition parties in the state.
The BJP's cultural cell "Kala Sanskriti Manch" featured the actor, whose death on June 14 and the following investigations have created outrage across the country. The message with the banners read: "Na bhoole hain, na bhulne denge (we have neither forgotten nor will we let anyone forget)."
The message also pointed to Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government's role in the CBI investigation into the death of the late actor, who hailed from Bihar, and "ensuring that a promising young son of the state" receive justice.
Varun Kumar Singh, state coordinator of the BJP Kala Sanskriti Manch said that about 30,000 stickers and posters and 30,000 face masks have been printed so far. "We have been using these as a sign of a movement to seek justice for the late actor who died in Mumbai," Singh said.
"It is not a political issue but a matter close to my heart. We had demanded a CBI inquiry to probe Sushant Singh Rajput's death. I had even sent letters to ministers demanding justice for him (Sushant). We started this movement on June 16. He was an artist and so am I," he added.
Bihar BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said, "BJP Kala Sanskriti Manch has been working for the welfare of the artists. They are paying tribute to Sushant Singh Rajput and they want justice. It was never a political step but has been done in solidarity."
Meanwhile, the opposition Rashtiya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress have accused the BJP of exploiting the actor's death case for political benefits.
"Nitish Kumar and BJP have no answers for the flood and the administrative failures. To divert the attention of the people, they only have the Sushant and Rhea case," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
He added pointedly: "The Maharashtra government was controlling the state police."
The Bihar government jumped into the ongoing case nearly a month after the late actor's father filed a complaint accusing Sushant Singh Rajput's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and her family of mental harassment, exploitation for money.
Bihar government transferred the case to the CBI. After Rhea Chakraborty demanded that all investigations be undertaken by the Mumbai Police, the Supreme Court ordered the CBI to take over the case, which was seen as a major victory for the Bihar government.