MUMBAI: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has criticized Bollywood actor Sonu Sood for his help to migrant workers in Mumbai calling him a stooge of BJP to undermine the work of Maharashtra government and other social workers and film actors.
Sonu Sood’s efforts in helping stranded migrant workers has been widely appreciated on the social media in a time of the pandemic situation.
However, Sanjay Raut in his column in Saamana raised the question that in the pandemic time, the entire world is struggling including the state and centre government machinery to tackle the crisis, but here how one man called Sonu Sood was doing all these work? “How he got the machinery to send the stranded migrant workers in their home states? The person who is behind Sonu Sood work is Shankar Pawar. He is president of Rashtriya Banjara Seva Sangh who was seen in many photographs with Mr Sood. Pawar is close to BJP-RSS and that is the deliberate attempt to discredit and undermine the other social workers and actors work. Many film stars extended the financial help to poor and needy people, but they never hogged the limelight like Mr Sood,” argued Raut.
Interestingly, Raju Parulekar, writer and blogger supported Mr Raut's claim saying he had highlighted this few days back, "I am glad Mr Raut has taken up this issue. I am in favour of appreciating genuine work but not some propaganda that was done during the Anna Hazare movement in UPA (II) government. The same model has been used this time also," Parulekar claimed.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi extended his support to Bollywood actor. He tweeted that, “Why slam Sonu Sood if he is genuinely helping? If a private citizen comes forward (IF GENUINE) to help citizens, they should we welcomed & encouraged as it fills a gap. States with best intentions may be unable to do all.”
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Ameya Khopkar said that except for writing an editorial, what has Sanjay Raut done? He said that if someone has done something good then it should be appreciated. "Show a big heart. Anyway, what can I expect from you except crying...," Khopkar, president of the party's cinema wing said.
BJP leader Ashish Shelar said it was unfair of the Sena to make Sood a target. He said that this is an extremely unfortunate and uncalled comment by Sanjay Raut. “Maharashtra government has failed to handle the Covid-19 pandemic situations. If an actor is helping out migrants using his own money, what is Sena’s problem with this? He is doing their job. Rather than appreciating, Raut is criticizing the actor work,” Shelar said.