The Maharashtra Congress on Friday raised questions on a drug abuse investigation by the Narcotics Control Bureau and demanded that the agency look into the alleged links of producer Sandip Ssingh and actor Vivek Oberoi in the case.
The statement came a day after the Central Crime Branch of the Bengaluru Police searched Vivek Oberoi’s Mumbai home looking for his brother-in-law Aditya Alva in connection with this case. Aditya Alva, the son of former minister late Jeevaraj Alva, is absconding, said Bengaluru Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sandeep Patil.
In a series of tweets, Maharashtra Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said that he had earlier asked the authorities to investigate the Bharatiya Janata Party’s connection in the case and had also named Alva. “But NCB didn’t pay heed,” Sawant tweeted.
He also alleged that the BJP government in Gujarat favoured a company run by Oberoi and Ssingh for signing a memorandum of understanding.
“Not only us, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had tweeted demanding Ssingh’s probe and why he frequently visits Dubai,” Sawant added, according to the Hindustan Times. “NCB has been summoning Bollywood actors, but the demand for the probe of Ssingh is overlooked.”
Sawant was referring to the drug agency’s actions in Mumbai. On September 8, the agency had arrested Bollywood actor Rhea Chakraborty in a drug case related to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, and also questioned Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan in the matter.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, dismissed Sawant’s claims. “He is free to produce the evidence, if any, to the investigating agency or to the courts,” BJP spokesperson Madhu Chavan said. “BJP never shields any wrongdoer and the search at Oberoi’s house is an example of the same. PM Narendra Modi’s integrity or sincerity cannot be contested. The allegations by Congress leaders are malicious and born out of frustrations.”
Oberoi’s brother-in-law Alva is among the 12 accused in the drugs scandal in the Kannada film industry. More than 15 people have so far been arrested in the case, including Kannada actors Ragini Dwivedi and Sanjjanaa Galrani. In September, the Narcotics Control Bureau had arrested three people in Bengaluru for allegedly supplying drugs to actors and singers in the Kannada film industry, which is also known as “Sandalwood”.
Last month, officials had raided a five-acre property near Bengaluru’s Hebbal Lake. Investigators suspect drugs were consumed at parties organised at the property, which is owned by Alva’s mother Nandini Alva.
The Congress had first raised the issue of Ssingh and BJP’s links in August, following actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and the drugs inquiry that ensued. The party’s leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi alleged that Ssingh, who claimed to be a friend of Rajput, had made 53 calls to the BJP’s office in Maharashtra over the last few months.