The Actor turned ‘Mahatma’ Sood gets bashed by Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, in his weekly Sunday column called ‘Rokhtok’ in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’. The article titles “Ekta Sonu Sood Khara”, that means “Sonu Sood is real”. Raut wondered whether the BJP propped up Bollywood actor Sonu Sood to offer help to stranded migrant workers in Maharashtra amidst the lockdown, with a vested political motive to show the Uddhav Thackrey government in a bad light.
Raut who is the chief whip of the Sena and executive editor of ‘Saamna’ questions through his article the sudden rise of ‘Mahatma’ Sood referring to a sting operation done by Cobrapost against the actor ahead of the 2019 elections, promising to promote the BJP-led government across various social media platforms.
The Sena’s vituperation comes against the backdrop of reports that the actor had arranged 1000-1200 busses on daily basis for sending stranded migrants back their homes in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh. He points out UP CM Yogi Adityanath and West Bengal chief minister not being ready to take anyone in the state, then where did these workers reach? How come so many busses during the lockdown period arranged? It was like Sood was running a parallel government and getting whatever, he wanted”. He pointed out that Sonu could not have arranged a flight from Kochi to Odisha without the backing of big political machinery.
“There is a person called Shankar Pawar, who is the head of Rashtriya Banjara Seva Sangh and seems frequently standing behind Sood in various photographs. He has the huge system and network capacity to send people home,” said Raut mentioning a campaign playing out, that said whoever wants to go back home should call/message on this (number). This has been deliberately organized. A piece of huge political machinery is on the job.
Raut alleged that there is a big picture running behind the rising popularity of the actor and forecasted that the actor could be a future campaigner for the party in Mumbai. His name will soon appear in one of the episodes of Man Ki Baat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi then he will leave for Delhi to meet the prime minister and one day he will appear as BJP star campaigner, he writes purportedly.
He added: “Sood is an actor whose profession is to deliver dialogues scripted by someone else and make a living out of it”, no wise man would believe in Sood suddenly developing sympathy for labourers. You do not need a screen all the time to show your acting skills as has been demonstrated by “Mahatma Sood”, he added.