After a snub by the Samajwadi Party for the nomination to the Rajya Sabha, Naresh Agrawal on Monday joined the BJP in presence of senior party leaders.
Agrawal, a long time aide of SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, had supported Akhilesh Yadav when he revolted against his father over control of the party.
Agrawal has often courted controversy by speaking out of turn.
Here are some of his controversial statements:
1- On Jaya Bachchan
Moments after joining the BJP, Agrawal left his new party embarrassed after he remarked that the SP had equated him with the film actor “who used to dance in films”.
“Films mein kaam karne wali se meri hesiyat kardi gayi, unke naam par humara ticket kataa gaya (I have been compared with those who work in films. My nomination was cancelled in her name.)” Agrawal said.
Agrawal made the remarks in the presence BJP leaders, including Union minister Piyush Goyal, at a press conference held at the party headquarters here to announce his joining the BJP.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, however, immediately distanced his party from Agrawal’s remarks, saying his party respects people from all fields and welcomed them in politics.
2- On PM Modi’s caste
Only last month, Agrawal triggered a row when he made remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s caste, drawing severe criticism from the BJP.
At a programme organised by traders here, a person while raising concerns related to the business community mentioned that both Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah also belonged to the same section of the society.
“Tell them to make laws in favour of the community… Amit Shah is from our community, but Modi is a ‘Teli’,” Agarwal said.
3- On Kulbhushan Jadhav
In December last year, Agrawal said that if former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was a terrorist then he would be treated as such in Pakistan.
“If Pakistan has declared Kulbhushan Jadhav as a terrorist in their country, then they will treat him like one. In our country also, we should treat terrorists in a similar manner. Terrorists have to be dealt strictly,” Agrawal told ANI.
4- Gods and liquor
Agrawal’s remarks in the House mocking Hindu gods had sparked an uproar last year. He made the comment while participating in a short duration debate on ‘rising incidents of lynching and atrocities on minorities and Dalits across the country’.
His remarks were later expunged from records of the House.
5- Derogatory term for women
In 2013, Agrawal used a derogatory term for women while taking a dig at BJP’s then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Trying to mock the BJP’s appeal to other secular parties for an alliance, Agarwal said, “In my village, there is a saying that if you ask a **** for blessings, she will ask you to become like her. Similarly, the BJP is asking everyone to become like them.”