Controversial Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agrawal on Monday exited the Samajwadi Party, of which he has been a member since for decades, and joined the BJP, which is currently in power in the Samajwadi Party's bastion in UP, as well as at the centre.
The 61-year-old Agrawal, a lawyer by training, has on eight occasions been an MLA for the Hardoi constituency. He became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 2012, meaning that his tenure is to expire this month. The Samajwadi Party had earlier decided to use its only Rajya Sabha nomination for Jaya Bachchan.
The BJP held a press conference, addressed by Railways Minister Piyush Goyal. The minister linked it to the BJP's strong performance in U.P, saying that party president Amit Shah was also a part of the discussions.
"He felt that by joining the BJP, he will be better able to serve the people of UP and India", Piyush Goyal said of Naresh Agrawal
Addressing the news conference himself a short while later, Naresh Agrawal said:
"Today I am joining the BJP and I understand that we're not in National parties, we can't serve the nation. That's why I have decided to join the BJP"
"I am influenced by PM Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath."
The way the government is working... whether it be in India or abroad, and the way BJP is capturing the states, it's clear that the people are with them under the PM's leadership."
"I will always be with Mulayam ji and Ram Gopal ji. They gave me lots of respect. But the way the SP is looking like a small ally, sometimes with Congress, sometimes with BSP... the way the SP is being ended."
He then made a deeply denigrating and sexist remark targeted at Jaya Bachchan:
"And I've been compared with someone who dances in films, and because of them, my ticket was cut, I didn't consider that appropriate."
"Whatever work the BJP gives me... I have no conditions. Not Rajya Sabha or any other ticket. My son Nitin Agrawal is an MLA. He will work with BJP and get votes."
"My society is anyway with the BJP, and so my society (samaj) will be very happy that I've come to the my ofginal place."
"I would thank Amit Shah and PM Modi for placing their trust on me and I will abide by their trust."