Outspoken former Samajwadi Party leader hit a bummer moments after joining the BJP due to his comments on Jaya Bachchan. His comments on the actress-turned-politician invited the ire of the senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Smriti Irani. After being slammed by Sushma Swaraj for his comments, Naresh Agarwal today expressed regret saying, “Agar meri kisi baat se kisi ko thes pahuchi hai toh main khed vyakt karta hun (I express my regret if my comments have hurt someone).”
However, on being asked whether he will apologise, he shot back asking if the meaning of khed (regret) was understood. He added that his statement was given a different angle by the media saying, “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.”
The statements by Naresh Agarwal come after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj condemned Agarwal’s comment on Jaya Bachchan. Notably, on Monday (March 12), Naresh Agarwal, in a press conference, announced quitting from the SP and joining hands with the BJP. While giving out the reason behind joining the saffron party, he said that he wasn’t happy with the coalition tricks of SP. He then said that choosing a ‘mere film dancer’ (apparently targetted at Jaya Bachchan) for Rajya Sabha over him was a bad decision by the Akhilesh Yadav-led party.
While sitting alongside senior BJP leader and Railway minister Piyush Goyal, Naresh Agarwal said, “My ticket was denied and it was given to someone who dances in films. That is even more painful.”
Taking strong objection to his remarks, Sushma Swaraj rebuked him in a tweet meant to welcome his joining. “Shri Naresh Agarwal has joined Bhartiya Janata Party. He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachchan ji are improper and unacceptable,” she wrote.
Union Minister Smriti Irani also condemned Agarwal’s statement in a tweet late on Monday. “My case (against Sanjay Nirupam) is in the court of law for 5 years now. But let my battle not be an excuse to humiliate other women. In fact let it be a reminder for us that when a woman’s honour is challenged we stand as one in our condemnation irrespective of our politics,” she wrote.