BJP criticised Sanjay Raut for attacking Sood for helping out stranded migrant workers during Covid crisis.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday criticised Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who has been widely appreciated for helping hundreds of stranded migrant workers home, as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stooge and prospective star campaigner for the party.
In his Sunday column, ‘Rokhtok’ in the Sena mouthpiece Saamna, Raut questioned how Sood managed to arrange for buses and flights when many state governments were found to be helpless during the lockdown.
Raut, in his piece titled “Ekta Sonu Sood Khara”, meaning ‘only Sonu Sood is real’, indicated that the BJP was helping the actor from behind the scenes to make him a “Mahatma” and soon he would be seen as star campaigner of the BJP.
Raut said Sood had managed to send 177 girls, stuck in Kerala’s Ernakulam, in a special plane to Bhubaneshwar in Odisha. Raut alleged that since Sood was not able to find a plane in Kerala, a special plane was flown from Bengaluru to Kochi. Raut asked if it was possible for Sood to pull this off without political, government and administrative backing.
“The Maharashtra government has formed a separate cell to send migrant workers to their native places. But, there is a campaign playing out, saying whoever wants to go back home should send a message on this (number) with your mobile number. Sonu Sood will send you home. This has been deliberately organised. A huge political machinery is on the job from behind. A picture is being created that the government is doing nothing but Sonu Sood is,” states the article.
“What machinery did he (Sonu Sood) have (at his service) to send thousands of workers to their homes? The one who was behind this is Shankar Pawar. He is the chief of Rashtriya Banjara Sewa Sangh but he is merely a face,” Raut stated further.
BJP slammed Raut for his comments. BJP leader Ram Kadam said, “This is an extremely unfortunate comment by Raut. It shows the extent of failure of the Maharashtra government in handling Covid-19. If an actor is helping out migrants using his own money, what is Sena’s problem with this? He is doing their job.”
Kadam said that it was unfair of the Sena to make Sood a target.
Meanwhile, Raut’s piece said, “I read that Sood was daily sending 1000-1200 people to their homes in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. West Bengal chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) had asked not to send workers back home while UP CM Yogi Maharaj was not ready to take anyone in the state without a health certificate, then where did these workers reach? How come so many buses were ‘illegally’ arranged during the lockdown period? It was like Sood was running a parallel government and he was getting whatever he wanted.”
Indicating that the actor may join BJP, Raut said, “Soon, ‘Mahatma’ Sonu Sood’s name will appear in one of the episodes of Mann ki Baat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then, he (Sonu Sood) will leave to Delhi to meet the prime minister and one day, he will appear as BJP’s star campaigner in Mumbai, UP, Bihar, Delhi…”
Raut also reminded his readers how Cobrapost in their sting operation a few years ago had exposed Sood for promoting BJP on social media.
“Some people from the BJP have adopted Sood and tried to reach out to the North Indian workers by using him as a face… Sonu Sood is an actor. He takes money for acting and saying dialogues. The Cobrapost had exposed Sood in one such sting operation. He had agreed to promote BJP on social media platforms such Instagram and Twitter and had demanded Rs 1.5 crore a month against that,” Raut claimed.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has alleged that the philanthropic efforts of Bollywood actor Sonu Sood to assist migrant workers stranded in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra reach home could be backed by an unknown political hand
is a good actor. There is a different director for movies, the work he has done is good but there is a possibility that there is a political director behind it: Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena.
Source: Hindustan Times