BJP MP and Bhojpuri superstar Manoj Tiwari on Monday pitched for a CBI inquiry into the suicide of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, and said those hailing from small towns always face discrimination in the Hindi film industry. Tiwari, who met the deceased actor’s bereaved family members at his residence here, told reporters that he was in favour of a “high-level inquiry” into the incident. “I would urge Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to do the needful by recommending a CBI inquiry. There must be a high-level investigation into the circumstances that drove the young actor to suicide,” he said.
Earlier, on arriving at the airport, Tiwari had ducked queries about his own alleged humiliation on the Bigg Boss reality show, hosted by actor Salman Khan, who is among the Bollywood bigwigs said to be sharing cold vibes with the Patna-born actor. “I would not take any names as of now as I would prefer accountability to be fixed by a proper investigation. However, it is no secret that people like us, with roots in small towns, are discriminated against in Bollywood and our success only leads to an increase in backbiting,” said Tiwari, who hails from Kaimur district in Bihar but represents North East Delhi in Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan, who last week wrote to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with a request that pressure be put on the Maharashtra government for a thorough inquiry into Rajput’s suicide, had a phone call with Thackeray on the matter. “The Maharashtra chief minister has given an assurance that the guilty will not be spared by the police who are investigating the matter,” said the Jamui MP who had played the lead role in a Bollywood movie before taking the political plunge.
A two-page-letter written by Paswan to Thackeray, flagging the issue of “groupism” in the film industry, was also shared by the party, founded by his father Ram Vilas Paswan, on social media. Rajput, 34, was found dead at his Mumbai residence on June 14. His death has reignited discussions about the struggle for survival in Bollywood by “outsiders”.