Naresh Agrawal expresses regret for his remarks on Jaya Bachchan

"I have been compared with those who dance and work in films", Agrawal reportedly said.

"My intention was not to hurt anybody's sentiments".

Irked by the favouring of Jaya Bachchan over him for re-nomination to Rajya Sabha, the former Samajwadi Party senior leader Naresh Agrawal joined Bhartiya Janata Party on Monday. "He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachhan ji are improper and unacceptable", she wrote.

Describing his joining the BJP as "homecoming", he said he would unconditionally do whatever the party wanted him to.

The party decided that solitary candidate would be Bachchan, and this angered Agarwal, hitherto a loyalist of former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. "Even men dance and sing in movies, then why are such things said only for women?" "Women Commission also should take action in this", Yadav tweeted.

Samajwadi Party (SP) nominated Jaya Bachchan as its candidate for Rajya Sabha polls and bypassed Naresh Agarwal as the candidate.

Speaking to reporters, UP Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said, "If you see our list of Rajya Sabha candidates, all the regions have got representation on the basis of merit".

Naresh Agarwal apologised for his statement on Jaya Bachchan on Tuesday.

Political leader Naresh Agarwal was denied a ticket inside Samajwadi Party yesterday as a result of which he joined the BJP force. Till three more BJP candidates filed their nomination on Monday, BSP was hoping of a smooth sailing for its candidate since it has 19 MLAs of its own, seven of Congress, 10 spare votes of SP and one from RLD.

Her colleague, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani also appeared to be critical of Agrawal's remarks, saying "we stand as one in our condemnation irrespective of our politics" when a woman's honour is challenged. In 2017, he was criticised by the BJP over his remarks in the Rajya Sabha mocking Hindu gods.

  • Rogelio Becker