Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday took a veiled dig at actor Kangana Ranaut over the controversy after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death without naming her and said those who hate Maharashtra have left no stone unturned to defame the state. 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.
The Shiv Sena chief was speaking at his party’s annual Dussehra rally at the Savarkar hall in Dadar area of Mumbai due to the coronavirus norms instead of the usual venue of Shivaji Park. Ranaut had kicked up a controversy after she compared Mumbai with PoK in September. Ranaut’s comment was in response to a remark by Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, asking her not to come back to the city after she claimed she felt unsafe here. She had also made objectionable comments against the Mumbai Police. After Rajput’s death on June 14, Thackeray’s Shiv Sena-led coalition government was criticised by the Bharatiya Janata Party as well and Ranaut over the handling of the case by Mumbai Police. Mumbai Police, which initially probed Rajput’s death, said it was a case of suicide. However, 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 among other things. The case is now being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). Several people, including Rhea Chakraborty and her brother, were arrested by NCB, which is probing the drugs angle in connection with Rajput’s death.