On Sonu Sood's relief work, defence minister Rajnath Singh's nudge to Sena

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Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who has been getting migrant workers home, deserves credit not criticism, underlined defence minister Rajnath Singh, a day after the actor found himself being criticised by a Shiv Sena leader.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, in his Sunday column for Sena mouthpiece Saamna, accused Sood of being a BJP stooge and prospective star campaigner for the party.

“Instead of lauding his work, the government has criticised actor Sonu Sood for his efforts to send migrant workers back home. The Maharashtra government should learn from UP and Karnataka on how to contain coronavirus spread,” the defence minister said while addressing a virtual rally of BJP workers, titled Maharashtra Jansamvad.

The BJP seems to have restarted the political activities as its leaders have been holding virtual rallies to drive home the party and the government’s message to its workers across the states. Home minister Amit Shah conducted similar rallies for Bihar and Odisha.

The actor, among his many other relief acts, had managed to send 177 girls, stuck in Kerala’s Ernakulam, in a special plane to Bhubaneswar 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 BJP slammed Raut for his comments.

“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,” said Maharashtra BJP leader Ram Kadam.

Soon after the controversy broke, the actor met chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at his residence on Sunday night.

“This evening Sonu Sood met up with CM Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray ji along with Minister Aslam Shaikh and me. Better together, stronger together to assist as many people through as many people. Good to have met a good soul to work for the people together,” tweeted Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray, without a hint of any resentment with the work that the actor was doing.

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