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Both the SP and the BSP today condemned Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agrawal for his "indecent" and "derogatory" comments against actor-politician Jaya Bachchan. Agrawal, who quit the Samajwadi Party (SP) and joined the BJP yesterday, had said he was denied a ticket to the Upper House of Parliament for someone "who used to dance in films". The SP has re-nominated Jaya Bachchan to the Rajya Sabha. While SP chief Akhilesh Yadav demanded that the BJP should immediately take action against him, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati demanded that Agrawal should tender an apology to the nation for making "anti-women" remarks. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra has distanced his party from Agrawal's remarks, while senior leader and the most prominent woman face of the saffron party, Sushma Swaraj has taken to Twitter to criticise the Rajya Sabha MP's comments. Facing a backlash for belittling Jaya Bachchan, Agrawal, whose term as a Rajya Sabha member comes to an end on April 2, offered his regrets today, saying his intention was not to hurt the sentiments of anyone. In a tweet, the SP chief said, "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." Agrawal, who has courted controversies with his statements in the past as well, made the remarks yesterday in the presence of BJP leaders, including Union minister Piyush Goyal, at a press conference held at the party headquarters. "For someone who used to dance in films, act in films, I was denied a ticket (for the Rajya Sabha). I did not find it appropriate," he had said. Mayawati termed Agrawal's statement "anti-women" and demanded that he should tender an apology to the nation. In a statement issued here, she said, "Naresh Agrawal, who was welcomed into the BJP-fold from the SP in a grand manner, has made indecent remarks against SP MP Jaya Bachchan. The statement is grossly anti-women and he should tender an apology to the nation." Stating that such an anti-women statement, made at a press conference in the presence of senior BJP leaders, had ashamed the country, the BSP chief said the top leadership of the BJP must take a serious note of it. "However, going by past experiences, it seems that the BJP leadership is not much serious about those harbouring anti-women sentiments," she said. "Jaya Bachchan is a respectable name and she represents an honourable family.
She is an MP and her family has a name in the film fraternity. The statement made against her is anti-women and highly objectionable. The BSP condemns it in the harshest possible manner. "The BJP is the ruling party. How it views the unparliamentary and insulting comments is being seen by the entire nation," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)