Actor Sonu Sood, who was hailed as a hero this year for helping migrant workers stranded by the sudden nationwide lockdown return home, said on Wednesday that the people of Bihar must have seen something right about what the government had done for them.
“The people must be seeing something right. People in India have a lot of hopes and they sometimes give you a second chance. Or a third chance. They want their lives to come to a better platform,” he said, when asked about his response to the Bihar election results declared early this morning.
After more than 18 hours of counting, the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) returned to power with 125 seats of the state’s 243 even though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) won only 43 seats compared to ally BJP’s 74.
Mr Sood, who helped a large number of migrants return home to mainly Bihar and Uttar Pradesh by hiring buses from Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, said, “I’ve got connected to a lot of people in Bihar. They are in bad shape whether you talk of education or infrastructure facilities.”
“I hope and believe that whoever wins, it is not important. It is important that after five years, we should have a different Bihar. They should be proud of choosing a government which gave them what they believed in,” he told NDTV.
The 47-year-old actor, who was widely praised and later received several awards for his efforts during the coronavirus crisis, had even launched a toll-free helpline number to help those who needed assistance.
Bihar’s verdict in favour of the BJP and Nitish Kumar suggested that the large-scale humanitarian crisis triggered by the COVID-19 lockdown – announced without warning three months after the first cases were reported in India – failed to sway voters.
For weeks after the lockdown was announced in March this year, daily-wage workers employed in large cities like Delhi and Mumbai and left without income, food or shelter were seen desperately trying to get home sometimes walking for hundreds of kilometres with many dying on the way.