Addressing the Rajya Sabha over retirement of several members, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad took a sly dig at Naresh Agrawal, who recently left the Samajwadi Party to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In an apparent reference to Agrawal’s change of party, Azad said that he is like the Sun, who sets at one place but rises somewhere else.
“Naresh Agarwal ji ek aise suraj hain, idhar doobe, udhar nikle, idhar nikle udhar doobe. Mujhe yaqeen hai jis party mein vo gaye hain vo unki kshamta ka poora upyog karegi (Naresh Agrawal ji is like the Sun which never sets. I am sure that the party which he has joined will make full use of his capabilities),” said Azad.
Naresh Agrawal had sparked a row recently when he joined the BJP with remark on actress-politician Jaya Bachchan. Addressing mediapersons after his joining, he had referred to Jaya as a “film waali”, inviting severe criticism and angry reactions.
The first person to lash out at Agrawal was senior BJP leader and Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. Taking to Twitter, Sushma had said that while Naresh Agrawal was welcome to the party, “his comments regarding Jaya Bachchan ji are improper and unacceptable”.
Though Jaya Bachchan did not make a direct comment on his statement, she had said, “I am a stubborn lady, I will not answer.”
Facing the backlash, Agrawal had said that he had no intention to hurt anybody’s sentiment. “I regret if my comment has hurt somebody’s feelings and withdraw my words.”
Later, SP chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had condemned Agrawal's comment and said in a tweet, "We condemn the BJP and Naresh Agrawal for his derogatory statement against Jaya Bachchan. This is an insult to every Indian woman and the film industry. If the BJP really respects women, then it should immediately take action against him. The women's commission should also look into it."