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Naresh Agrawal joins BJP, takes dig at SP, Jaya

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Samajwadi Party's member Naresh Agrawal, who has changed parties frequently in his three-decade-old political career, on Monday joined the BJP here and straightaway stoked a controversy saying "film actor and dancer" has been preferred over him for candidature by the SP in the upcoming to the Upper House, remarks which were denounced by External Affairs

Piyush Goyal, who held a press conference to announce the entry of Agrawal at the party headquarters, and were visibly embarrassed by the remarks. Patra sought to contain the damage by calling an end to the briefing before saying that BJP respects the contribution of every individual whichever field they work in.

However, Swaraj termed his remarks "improper and unacceptable".

"I was compared with a person working in the films... I was rejected for those who dance in films, work in films. I found it not proper. Nobody found it proper," said Agrawal, who is set to retire from the on April 2.

He was referring to the re-nomination of by the for yet another term from in the coming biennial elections, ignoring Agrawal's claim.

With its reduced strength in the assembly following assembly last year, the is in a position to win only one seat from the state.

conveyed her disapproval of Agrawal's remarks in a tweet. "Shri has joined He is welcome. However, his comments regarding ji are improper and unacceptable," she said.

During the press conference, Agrawal also announced that his son Nitin Agarwal, who is a MLA, will vote for the BJP in the biennial to the

He described his joining the BJP as "homecoming" and said he would unconditionally do whatever the party wanted him to.

"I have not joined the for any ticket, nor have I set any condition."

Agrawal, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the government and the BJP in the in the last few years, lauded the and BJP chief

"I am inspired by the and Yogiji. The fact that one after the other all states are going to BJP proves that the entire country is with Narendra Modi's leadership," he said.

Agrawal also said he felt that he cannot serve the entire country till he was in a national party.

Referring to leaders and Ram Gopal Yadav, Agrawal said he will continue to respect them for the regard they had given him.

He said the was losing its grip in by aligning with parties such as the or the BSP. Agrawal said the was a strong force in 2012 but had been considerably weakened.

Agarwal, who belongs to the trading community, also referred to the traditional support of the community to the BJP. "

"My society is already with BJP. My community people will be very happy today that Naresh has come to his original place," he said.

Agrawal, who had been an MLA several times and a in Uttar Pradesh, has often changed parties in the last over 30 years of his political career. He has also stoked controversies.

Agrawal had earlier been with the Loktantrik Party with Jagdambika Pal that allied with the BJP government headed by Kalyan Singh in in 1997.

He also served as a in the Kalyan Singh, and regimes.

He later joined the and was a in the He subsequently joined the before returning to the



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 20:00 IST