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Social media slammed the BJP for inducting former Samajwadi Party (SP) Naresh Agarwal into the party fold yesterday and questioned the saffron party’s apparent U-turn in their opinion of him.
The widespread disapproval on Twitter had people digging out old tweets from BJP leaders and spokespersons who had criticized Agarwal.
After drawing strong criticism for his ‘dance karnewali’ remark on actor-politcian Jaya Bachchan, Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agrawal on Tuesday expressed his regret, saying he did not intend to hurt anyone, according to media.
Agrawal said, “I had said something which was given a different angle by the media. All I can say is that I didn’t intend to hurt anyone. I express my regret, if it did hurt anyone. I take back my words.”
Agrawal quit the Samajwadi Party and formally joined the BJP in New Delhi after he lost out his Rajya Sabha re-nomination to Bachchan. His term as Rajya Sabha member ends on April 2.
The seven-time MLA from Hardoi constituency on Monday said that he joined the party because he was bypassed for “somebody who danced and worked in films”. “Aur filmon mein kaam karnewali se meri haisiyat kar di gayi. Ye filmon mein dance karte, apna role karte, unke naam par hamara ticket kata gaya, mein ne isko bahut uchit nahin samjha. Kisi ne bhi isko uchit nahin samjha. (My status has been equated with women who work in films. For somebody who used to dance in films, act in films, I was denied a (Rajya Sabha) ticket. I did not find it appropriate. Nobody found it appropriate),” Agrawal said while addressing a press conference in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.
Agarwal was referring to former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav (currently languishing in Pakistani jail) as a “terrorist”.
BJP’s IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya had for the same reasons called Agarwal “Pakistan’s spokesperson”.
This prompted people on Twitter to mock the BJP’s move to embrace Agarwal with comments like “Pak spokesperson joins BJP”.
The saffron party’s mahila-morcha member Priti Gandhi had once called Agarwal “shameless”.
She was referring to an occasion in Rajya Sabha when the former SP leader had compared various Hindu gods with alcohol.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to it.
The national spokesperson of BJP had sort of predicted this.
Some BJP leaders like Sambit Patra made sure to delete old tweets in which they had targeted Agarwal. But that doesn’t mean clever netizens had forgotten them, and they made sure to remind him.
Agarwal is known to make controversial statements. He had questioned the “caliber” of the Indian Army when terrorists attacked Srinagar Hospital early this year.
True to his form, he landed in a controversy right after formally joining the BJP, and the party immediately distanced itself from a comment he made about his former party colleague Jaya Bachchan. He called her a “naachnewali”, or “dancer”. Not only the BJP, many on Twitter too found it distasteful, giving them more ammunition to criticise the BJP for accepting him as a member.
Few said BJP was only “interested in power”.
Apparently there are more like Agarwal waiting for their turns to join BJP.
Many BJP supporters too felt disenchanted with the development and hit out at party leadership for inducting “garbage” politicians from the very parties they denounce.
They wondered if the party could “stoop any lower”.
However there were still few supporters who justified the move through some bizarre logic and called it a masterstroke of BJP president Amit Shah.
Criticising his remarks, the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “Shri Naresh Agrawal has joined Bhartiya Janata Party. He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachchanji are improper and unacceptable.”
BJP leaders admitted that the party was “deeply embarrassed” by Agrawal’s remarks and that it has taken the sheen off the party’s excitement over his shift to the BJP.
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