Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Tuesday condemned the remark made by new BJP joinee Naresh Agrawal on actor-turned politician Jaya Bachchan, saying the former Samajwadi Party leader has not got over the culture of his former party and would take “some time” to adapt to that of the BJP.
“What Naresh Agrawal has said is condemnable. He has not got over the culture of his previous party. He will take some time to adapt to our party’s culture,” ANI quoted Vij as saying.
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 had said that he joined the BJP 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),” the Rajya Sabha MP said while addressing a press conference in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal at the BJP headquarters in the national capital.
However, on Tuesday, the 66-year-old expressed regret over his statement, saying he did not intend to hurt anyone. “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,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Criticising his remarks, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “Shri Naresh Agarwal 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 Agarwal’s remarks and that it has taken the sheen off the party’s excitement over his shift to the BJP.