OP Soni is an Indian politician who is a representative of the Indian National Congress (INC). OP Soni was elected as a member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly from Amritsar Central for two consecutive terms, and he is also the minister in the Punjab Government and manages the department of school education.
Om Prakash Soni, popularly known as OP Soni, was born on Wednesday, 3 July 1957 (age 64 years; as of 2021), in Bhilowal, Amritsar, Punjab. His zodiac sign is Cancer. OP Soni completed his schooling at Government Senior Secondary School, Lopoke, Punjab. In 1991, OP Soni started his political journey with the Indian National Congress (INC).
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
OP Soni’s father’s name is Jagat Mitter Soni, and his mother’s name is Prem Soni.
Wife & Children
OP Soni got married to Suman Soni, and they have a son together, Vikas Soni.
OP Soni’s career as a politician began when he was appointed as the mayor of Amritsar. In 1997, OP Soni contested the elections for the Punjab Legislative Assembly from the Amritsar West region and won the elections. After serving his first tenure in 1997, OP Soni was appointed twice (2002 and 2007) from the constituency of Amritsar West. In 2009, OP Soni contested parliamentary elections against Navjot Singh Sidhu, but he lost the elections with a slim margin of 6,858 votes. After serving for three successful terms, OP Soni decided to cover more serving areas and contested the Legislative Assembly elections of 2012 from Amritsar Central. He won the elections, and in 2017, he was re-elected as the MLA for the same constituency. In 2017, Captain Amarinder Singh was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Punjab, and in the cabinet selection process, OP Soni was ignored by him. However, in 2018, OP Soni was appointed as the School Education Minister. On 20 September 2021, Charanjit Singh Channi was appointed as the Chief Minister of Punjab, and he further appointed OP Soni and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa as the two deputy chief ministers, and the oath-taking ceremony took place at Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh. The ceremony was held in the presence of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Navjot Singh Sidhu, and the state in charge of the party, Harish Rawat.
Arrested by the Vigilance Bureau
He was arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau on 9 July 2023 on suspicion of accumulating wealth that exceeded his known sources of income between 2016 and 2022. A First Information Report (FIR) was filed against him under sections 13 (1) (b) and 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. This action followed an inquiry that was initiated on 10 October 2022. The Hindu
- Deposits in Banks, Financial Institutions, etc.: Rs. 9.20 lakh
- LIC or Other insurances: Rs. 16 lakh
- Motor vehicles: Rs. 4.50 lakh
- Jewellery: Rs. 68.75 lakh
- Cash: Rs. 6.20 lakh
- Agricultural Land: Rs. 2 crore
- Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 2.24 crore
- Residential Buildings: Rs. 13 crore
- In November 2016, several senior leaders of the Congress party like Captain Amarinder Singh, and Partap Singh Bajwa accompanied MLAs to the office of the Punjab Assembly Secretary to give their resignations. This move was carried out as a protest against the decision made by the Supreme Court of India in the Satluj-Yamuna Link (YSL); the decision was made in the favour of Haryana state.
- After the results of the 2009 parliamentary elections, OP Soni challenged the results in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and he also filed a defamation case against Navjot Singh Sidhu in Amritsar after Sidhu accused him of being involved in a drug peddling racket. The case was withdrawn by Soni in 2017 when Sidhu joined the Congress Party.
- In 2018, Captain Amarinder Singh ordered mandatory drug testing of all government employees. The campaign was started to fight the problem of drug abuse in the state of Punjab. Following this, OP Soni, along with his son, Vikas Soni, went to the government-approved testing lab to hand over their urine samples for the testing process.
- During the selection of the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, it was reported that Brahm Mohindra would be appointed as the deputy CM; however, in the morning, it was revealed that his name has been replaced by OP Soni’s name. Sources revealed that Sidhu had a role in the sudden change, and OP Soni’s name was appointed for the change due to his closeness with the former prime minister Manmohan Singh. In 2017, during the cabinet minister selection meeting, OP Soni’s name was personally suggested by Manmohan Singh for a ministerial post.
- In 2019, Captain Amarinder Singh changed OP Soni’s position and made him the Minister of Medical Education and Research, and in response to this, Soni decided to protest the decision and didn’t take charge of the office for two weeks. He also went on record and blamed several senior party members saying that their interference caused this reshuffled which affected several ministers as they lost their desired portfolios.