MOGA (PUNJAB): Malvika Sood, sister of Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, is contesting Punjab assembly elections 2022 from Moga assembly constituency as a Congress candidate. She says she entered politics as many issues of the people haven’t been addressed and she intends to improve health and education sector once voted to power.
The New Indian caught up with Malvika on her campaign trail in Moga assembly constituency and she spoke at length with our Assistant Editor Anand Singh about her vision for the people.
Malvika, who is a philanthropist said, “People are really happy that someone from Moga has come who loves the town and has conviction that people can make the difference.”
Discussing her plans to improve health and education system in the town and narrating the ordeal of people, she said, “In Moga we have a civil hospital which is very old and it has many issues. Patients are referred to Faridkot which puts people in trouble many a time.”
“So why not develop the same hospital with more facilities as that would save people from getting their patients referred anywhere else for better treatment,” she added.
Talking about education system in her assembly constituency, she said that many schools in villages in Moga have classes till 5 or 8 or some have high schools with plus two. “If we provide schools till plus two (12th standard) in every village, the quality of education will improve and students will not have to travel anywhere else for their studies. And there are only three to four teachers in many schools. I will work on it and provide better education facilities to the students,” she said.
To a question as to what motivated her to enter politics as her siblings were already into social work, Malvika said, “My mother Saroj Sood was a lecturer in a college. And she used to provide for free education of students who could not afford the fee. After her death, we have started Professor Sood Scholarship to provide education and many students are still studying by getting the scholarship.”
“During COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, my brother Sonu saw the problems faced by many migrant workers who were not able to get transport to go back to their native places. Taking cue from him, we decided to help people through Sood Charity Foundation in the name of our parents,” she said.
Narrating the story about her entry into the politics, the Congress leader said, “There is a story behind my decision to enter politics. During the pandemic, I used to visit hospitals a number of times here. So I spoke to my brother that we should construct a new civil hospital. He agreed and sent his team members from Mumbai. The team came and checked every requirement for the hospital. And when we put forth the papers for constructing hospital, we didn’t get the permission. And there were number of other things that we were unable to do here.”
“We thought that till the time we are not into the system , many works that can help the people cannot be done. As we love to work for the town, we felt that we were unable to do more for Moga. Even my brother was working in Mumbai and other cities of the country but he was unable to do something for his hometown, so people said that we should come into politics as their voices were not being heard ,” she said.
To a question that how challenging is the fight in her constituency, she said, “My competition is from myself. I do my work and don’t think what others are doing. I compare my work and ensure that the work that I am doing is known to people. I try my best to help more people. If I have entered into politics, I will strive hard to meet the expectations of the people.”
When asked about who should be party’s chief ministerial candidate as there is a lot of buzz about the names of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Punjab Congress chief and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, she said, “Sidhu ji has worked for people and he is very organised. Even work of Channi is very commendable as we have seen in 111 days. CM Channi has also worked hard for the state.”
“It is said that you need two strong arms to take on any challenge, so both leaders are like strong arms of the party. And I hope that the senior leadership of the party will take a call on the CM face,” she added.
Malvika Sood, who is youngest of the three siblings, is a prominent philanthropist in Moga town, known for her social work in the education, employment and health sectors. She is facing BJP candidate Hartoj Kamal, a sitting MLA from Congress who switched his party after Malvika’s name was announced, and SAD’ Makhan Brar. Even AAP has fielded Dr Amandeep Kaur Arora.
Punjab goes to polls in single phase on February 20 and counting of votes will take place on March 10.
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