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Jaya Bachchan hits back at former Samajwadi colleague Naresh Agarwal's sexist comment

Agarwal crossed over to the BJP after his party chose the actress-turned-MP over him for a Rajya Sabha ticket.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Our Correspondent

Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal was inducted into the Bharatiya Janata Party today in Delhi. On the occasion, Agarwal stoked a controversy by making a cheap jibe at veteran actress and Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan.

Filmon mein kaam karnewali se meri haisiyat kar di gayi. Yeh filmon mein dance karte hain, apna role karte hain, unke naam par hamara ticket kaata gaya. Maine isko bahut uchit nahin samjha [I have been weighed against those who act and dance in films and denied a ticket to contest. I do not think this is appropriate]," Agarwal said at a press conference on being inducted into the BJP.

Both Agarwal and Bachchan's terms as Rajya Sabha members representing Uttar Pradesh on Samajwadi Party tickets end early next month. Unfortunately for them, in the changed circumstances following the 2017 assembly election in the state, when the BJP swept the polls, the Samajwadi Party is in a position to get only one candidate elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh.

The party decided that solitary candidate would be Bachchan, and this angered Agarwal, hitherto a loyalist of former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Brushing aside Agarwal's jibe, Bachchan told the Times Now channel, "I don't have any comment on what others say. They are welcome to their opinions. I am proud to be a film actor and thankful to my leaders Mulayam Singh and Akhileshji for giving me another opportunity."

She went on to give a fitting reply to Agarwal. “He does not get this sabhyata [culture] from the SP," she remarked. "It is his personal reaction. As far as the SP is concerned, they have said they want to give women importance and that women must be represented properly and that is why our president and leaders have selected me.”

Even senior BJP leaders like external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and party spokesperson Sambit Patra have distanced themselves from Agarwal's comment.

Agarwal, who was in the Congress before joining the Samajwadi Party in the late 1990s, is no stranger to controversy. Last year, he had courted trouble after equating Indian gods with alcohol.