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Posted at: Mar 13, 2018, 1:23 AM; last updated: Mar 13, 2018, 2:07 AM (IST)

Agarwal joins BJP, creates furore with remark on Jaya

RS polls: Says SP favoured someone who ‘dances in movies’
Agarwal joins BJP, creates furore with remark on Jaya
BJP leader Piyush Goyal welcomes Rajya Sabha member Naresh Agarwal into the party fold in New Delhi on Monday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 12

Minutes after joining the BJP,  Samajwadi Party (SP) Rajya Sabha member Naresh Agarwal today made a controversial remark that created furore in his new party.

He referred actor-politician Jaya Bachchan, who was preferred over him for a Rajya Sabha seat by the SP, as “filmon main nachne aur kaam karne wali  (a woman who danced and worked in movies)”. “I have been denied a ticket and my ticket was given to someone who works and dances in films. It is painful,” he said, referring to Jaya Bachchan, after he was welcomed into the BJP by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

However, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took strong objection to his comment and tweeted: “Shri Naresh Agarwal has joined Bharatiya Janata Party. He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachchan ji are improper and unacceptable.”

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra distanced his party from Agarwal’s remarks, saying it respects people from all fields and welcomed them in politics.

Earlier, Agarwal was all praise of senior SP leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav. And unmindful of his earlier comments against them, he also lauded the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah.

“I am joining the BJP as I think that until you are in a national party, you cannot do anything for society. I am impressed by PM Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. I will always be with Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav, but the current scenario in the SP, where it sometimes in coalition with the Congress and sometimes with the BSP, is very sad.”

“My son Nitin who is a SP MLA is also joining the BJP,” he said.

Known for a vocal presence in the Rajya Sabha and controversial remarks, Agarwal had earlier called the BJP a party with “sankeern soch” — a myopic vision. A few weeks ago, he triggered a row with remarks on the PM’s caste. “Tell them to make laws in favour of the community (business community)... Amit Shah is from our community, but Modi is a ‘Teli’,” he has said at a function.

SP leaders, who denied speculation that Bachchan was nominated to placate the faction led by Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, said, “Naresh Agarwal is only interested in the position and not the party.” They accused him of “colluding with the BJP even before the decision favouring Bachchan was made”.

“Jaya Bachchan’s re-entry may have been propelled by her connections with the corporates, but speculation that Agarwal may join the BJP started when he met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh around January,” they said.

‘This is unacceptable’

Shri Naresh Agarwal has joined Bharatiya Janata Party. He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachchan ji are improper and unacceptable — Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister


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