BJP's newest entrant Naresh Agarwal once ditched his father for Congress ticket

No one has been able to explain what value he brings to a party.

 |  3-minute read |   13-03-2018
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Party-hopper Naresh Agarwal's dramatic exit from the Samajwadi Party (SP) and instant switch of loyalties to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not surprised those who are familiar with the Rajya Sabha member's antics.


Those familiar with Naresh's entry into electoral politics would remember how he upstaged his own father, SC Agarwal, and usurped the Congress ticket allocated to his father in the early 1980s.

Since his father was unwell, Naresh was sent to Delhi to fetch the party ticket and symbol from Rajiv Gandhi. He managed to impress upon Gandhi that on account of being indisposed, his father wanted him to contest the election, so he should instead be fielded by the party. Sure enough he gave a big shock to his father on his return to Hardoi from where he made his debut.

Even his blatant use of vulgar language for eminent film star, Jaya Bachchan, who became SP chief Akhilesh Yadav's preferred choice for nomination to the Rajya Sabha instead of Naresh, was not unfamiliar. Naresh was always known for indulging in loose talk about everyone, particularly women.

However, because of political compulsions, parties have allowed him to get away easily despite making despicable comments. Even the Samajwadi Party, whose leaders are busy condemning him over the latest comments on Bachchan, chose to look the other way each time Naresh made derogatory references to others. And surely, such occasions have been far too many.

Agarwal was among those who found nothing wrong with his then political boss Mulayam Singh Yadav's much abhorred remark about "boys will be boys", in reference to the spate of rapes in the state. When some political leaders were busy blaming women for inviting molestation on account of the clothes they wore, Naresh stood up in their support too.

Not very long ago, when BJP was debating cow slaughter, he went to the extent of making a sarcastic remark in extremely bad taste openly in the Rajya Sabha. "If cow is our mother, then what is bull and also what should we call the calf," he asked.

Significantly, not a single eyebrow was raised in the Rajya Sabha when he mocked Hindu Gods by saying, "whiskey main Vishnu aur rum main Ram". As a matter of fact, most members of the house, including those belonging to the BJP, went laughed out loud over the remark.

BJP may be seeing him as a prized catch today, but no one has been able to explain what value was he likely to add to the party. He was unsuccessful in the two Lok Sabha elections he contested over the years. Other than ensuring victory on a lone Vidhan sabha seat which he eventually handed over to his son Nitin Agarwal, he hardly carries any influence on any seat.

Just a few days back, Naresh Agarwal went to the extent of attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's caste. When someone at a "Vaishya Sammellan" in Lucknow referred to Modi as a "Vaishya", Naresh rebuked him insisting that Modi should be described as a "Teli".

In the 1990s, Agarwal ditched the Congress and weaned away a few members to form the Loktantrik Congress Party. He got Jagdambika Pal installed as chief minister but ditched him in precisely 48 hours following which Pal was compelled to step down.

His next destination was Samajwadi Party, where he stayed only until Mulayam Singh Yadav remained in power. No sooner than the Mulayam government fell, he crossed over to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), from where he again staged a comeback into the Samajwadi Party, where he stayed until Akhilesh Yadav denied him another term in the Rajya Sabha. Now how long would he remain loyal to BJP is a million dollar question.

Also read: If our pain isn't seen, where do we go?


Sharat Pradhan Sharat Pradhan @sharatpradhan21

The writer is a senior journalist and political analyst based in Lucknow.

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