Sushma Swaraj says Naresh Agrawal's statement on Jaya Bachchan 'improper and unacceptable'

Violet Powell
March 13, 2018

Two days after he lost out on a Rajya Sabha nomination on Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket to actor Jaya Bachchan, now-retiring MP from the Upper House, Naresh Agarwal, joined the BJP but not before he sparked controversy with his comments on Ms. Bachchan. "He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachhan ji are improper and unacceptable", tweeted Sushma Swaraj. His son Nitin Agarwal, the current MLA from Hardoi, also joined the BJP.

The SP nominated Jaya Bachchan as its only candidate and made a decision to extendd the remaining votes to BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar. Reports say Agarwal was upset after the SP nominated Jaya Bachchan as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls. I found it not proper.

Mr Agrawal's term in the Rajya Sabha is ending next month and he was expecting a re-election to the Upper House.

After joining the BJP, Agarwal said that he was given a backseat for a "woman working in films". Agrawal's term as Rajya Sabha member ends on April 2. He has often targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that a tea seller is not fit to lead the country. "Meri koi shart par nahi aya, koi Rajya Sabka ki ticket ki maang nahi hai", Naresh Agrawal said on joining BJP. BJP state president said that the party can't allow the spare votes to go waste. The Samajwadi Party has 47 MLAs in the 403-seat Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

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His statement didn't sit well with the actor-turned-politician's followers, who started demanding an immediate termination of Agrawal from the central party in power.

He had earlier been with the Akhil Bhartiya Loktantrik Congress with Jagdambika Pal, Rajeev Shukla and Shyam Sunder Sharma that allied with the BJP government headed by Kalyan Singh in Uttar Pradesh in 1997.

He also served as a minister in the Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta and Rajnath Singh regimes. The state's ruling party has a surplus of 28 votes and if gets the support of Independents and gains through possible cross-voting, its ninth candidate could also get elected.

He later joined the Samajwadi Party and was a minister in the Mulayam Singh government.

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