New Delhi: Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who has earned plaudits for sending migrant labourers home during the lockdown and for other relief work, has, however, come under severe criticism from Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena, which today remarked that the actor will ‘soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and become Mumbai’s celebrity manager’. Also Read - Sonu Sood Sends 200 Idli Vendors Back to Their Homes in Tamil Nadu From Mumbai, They Show Gratitude by Performing Aarti
Writing in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut referred to the Punjab-born actor as a Mahatma, who, he wrote, had appeared out of nowhere during the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Also Read - Sonu Sood Sends 173 Migrants to Dehradun on Plane, Says 'Most of Them Never Travelled by Air'
Notably, the Mahatma jibe was with reference to the actor’s recent meet with Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, during which the Governor had called him Mahatma Sood, praising him for his work. Also Read - Sonu Sood Meets Maharashtra Governor, Gets Full Support From Govt in His 'Ghar Bhejo' Initiative
Questioning how Sonu Sood was being able to arrange for migrants’ travel back home, Raut also questioned why no action is being taken by the Centre, wondering where the migrants were being taken as states had closed their respective borders.
Raut further alleged that Sood was only ‘pretending’ to send migrants home, remarking that he could anything for money as he’s an actor, adding that ‘acting is his profession’.
During the lockdown, notably, the actor has done everything-from airlifting girls working in Kerala to their native Odisha, to sending labourers from Uttarakhand back to their home state on a flight.
Maharashtra is currently governed by an alliance of the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP, with Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray as the Chief Minister. With a total of well over 80,000 coronavirus cases thus far, it is the worst coronavirus-hit state in the country by a distance.