Former Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal, who was considered a close aide of ex-chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday. But his arrival in the party came with a controversy over his comment on veteran actress and Samajwadi Party leader Jaya Bachchan. During his interaction with mediapersons after formally joining the BJP, Agrawal referred to the Rajya Sabha member as “film wali”.
Referring to Jaya Bachchan’s selection as Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha candidate, he had said, "Films mein kaam karne wali se meri hesiyat kardi gayi, unke naam par humara ticket kataa gaya, maine isko bhi bahut utchit nahi samjha. Meri koi shart par nahi aya, koi Rajya Sabka ki ticket ki maang nahi hai (I was put at par with a film actor. My ticket was given to her. I have not come (to BJP) on any condition. I do not want a ticket to Rajya Sabha)."
The statement did not go down well with many, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who took to microblogging site Twitter slamming the same. The latest attack on Agrawal has come from Union I&B minister Smriti Irani, who was also subjected to similar jibes while starting her political journey.
Smriti said “let my battle not be an excuse to humiliate other women”, referring to a five-year-old court case. She added, “In fact let it be a reminder for us that when a woman’s honour is challenged we stand as one in our condemnation irrespective of our politics.”
My case is in the court of law for 5 years now. But let my battle not be an excuse to humiliate other women. In fact let it be a reminder for us that when a woman’s honour is challenged we stand as one in our condemnation irrespective of our politics. https://t.co/beneLYVHnk
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) March 12, 2018
Welcoming the newly-inducted BJP member, Sushma Swaraj slammed him in the same breathe over his "film wali" comments regarding Jaya Bachchan.
Her statement came shortly after former Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal joined the BJP.
"Naresh Agrawal has joined Bhartiya Janata Party. He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachchan ji are improper and unacceptable," tweeted EAM Sushma Swaraj.
Shri Naresh Agarwal has joined Bhartiya Janata Party. He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachhan ji are improper and unacceptable.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 12, 2018
In a jolt to the Samajwadi party, senior leader Naresh Agrawal joined the BJP today in the presence of Union minister Piyush Goyal.
Agrawal, who earlier was the general secretary of the Samajwadi Party and a Rajya Sabha member, was reportedly unhappy with the party president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav for giving the Rajya Sabha ticket to Jaya Bachchan.
Last week, Jaya Bachchan was picked as the Samajwadi Party nominee for the Rajya Sabha elections from the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Calling Bachchan a loyal leader, Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh had said that she deserves to be the Samajwadi Party's candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.
Bachchan was chosen over Naresh Agrawal who has served as Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Hardoi constituency seven times.
"Naresh Aggarwal has joined many parties. He started his career in Congress. He was a member of the cabinet of Rajnath Singh. Then intermittently he was in Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and then he came in Samajwadi Party. He is widely experienced," Singh had said.
"So far Jaya Bachchan is concerned, she was consistently loyal to the Samajwadi Party and to the party`s system. She has been loyal to the hierarchy of the SP. So she has proven to be a better politician than Naresh Aggarwal," he had added.