The Congress leadership should give another chance to Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi as he didn’t get much time at the top job in the state, actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood told NDTV, while also maintaining that he is not associated with any political party. He also called state Congress Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu a good and honest man and said that he always speaks from the heart.
“I have met Mr Channi, he is a grounded man and naturally makes you smile. His work as Chief Minister in the last three months is praiseworthy but it’s very little time for anyone to work. It’s as if you went to bat and have your eye on the ball but a tea break is suddenly announced. I think he should get to bat after the tea break as well,” he said.
Mr Sood said he believes the Congress should declare its Chief Ministerial candidate to help people identify the leader, and it’s their right to know. “When I met with the leadership, I told them that it’s very important that you make the announcement,” he added.
On Aam Aadmi Party’s Chief Ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann, he said that he hasn’t followed him much politically and had met him once as an artist many years ago. “I am yet to see how he emerges as a leader but if his party has decided then they must have thought about it,” he said.
The actor’s 38-year-old sister Malvika Sood Sachar is contesting from their ancestral place Moga on a Congress ticket and the actor has been campaigning with her ahead of the upcoming state assembly elections.
Mr Sood reiterated that he isn’t associated with any party and is only supporting his sister, who he says has been involved in social work for a long time. “All the schools, colleges and dharamshalas (inn) in Moga have been built by my family. My mother has taught a lot of children for free,” he said and added that both he and his sister are following their parents’ path in social work. He also said that his sister has got half the city vaccinated against Covid.
“The people have brought Malvika into politics, saying that a lot of work will get done if she is part of the system,” Mr Sood said.
Malvika Sood Sachar is a prominent philanthropist in Moga town. The brother-sister duo together runs the Sood Charity Foundation.
Discussing why they chose the Congress party for his sister, he said the party has done a lot for Punjab and Moga has been a Congress stronghold because the party has been doing good work in the constituency. “My sister thought that it’s better for her to join Congress. We believed we will get that space in the party by which we can deliver on our manifesto,” he said.
On speculations of his association with various parties, he said that he has linked with all the parties in the past ever since he started doing social work. He adds that it started after the Delhi government named him the ambassador for one of their initiatives. “I got a lot of offers from various parties. Rajya Sabha seat and high posts were offered to me,” he claimed.
Mr Sood hinted that he will eventually join politics, probably by the next elections. “I don’t have a big enough team to manage both my social work and also elections,” he said.
On the Income Tax raid following his meeting with Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, he says the matter has been settled and he is cooperating with the investigation.