Naresh Agarwal brings with him a richness of embarrassment to BJP
The BJP, which claims to be ideologically-driven, will find it difficult to explain how a politician like Naresh Agarwal fits into its agendaeditorials Updated: Mar 13, 2018 23:11 IST
Uttar Pradesh politician and former MLA, Naresh Chandra Agarwal, is a good example of what a politician should not be. Or maybe he is a good example of what a successful politician should be. Agarwal is proof that while a rolling stone gathers no moss, it , at least, gets to go to places other, stationary stones can’t. And so, Agarwal has been on a roll.
With the exception of a few, Agarwal has warmed the benches of almost all political parties in the Hindi heartland in a career spanning more than three decades. He started with the Congress in 1980, but grew disenchanted with the party soon. By 1989, he was contesting as an independent candidate. He went back to the Congress only to later form the Loktantrik Congress. From there he joined the Samajwadi Party; later, he broke ranks with the SP to join Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party. Then he went back to the SP. And on Monday, this “rolling stone” joined the BJP.
For much of this time, Agarwal has managed to be with the party in power — which seems to be his political philosophy as well.
At the time of going to press, Agarwal is still in the BJP, though he has been severally criticised by senior party leaders for his sexist and insensitive statement made on Monday at a function held at the party headquarters in Delhi to welcome him into the BJP.
The BJP, which claims to be ideologically-driven, will find it difficult to explain how a politician like Agarwal fits into its agenda. He has already caused much embarrassment to the party and his expression of “regret”, on Tuesday, appears to be nothing more than a lame attempt to deflect political heat for his statement.
Agarwal is the latest of turncoats to join an ever-expanding and increasingly powerful BJP, but, unlike others, Agarwal stands out. The 66-year-old leader is infamous for his obnoxious and controversial statements, the latest seen on Monday. In 2013, he made derogatory statements against Prime Minister Narendra Modi; last July, he ridiculed Hindu gods; in December, he likened Kulbhushan Jadav to a terrorist; and, in January, he mocked Muslim women who had come to witness the tabling of the triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha.
Agarwal has a dubious political rap sheet. The only thing, perhaps, worth being envious about is his collection of tippets given by the many political parties he has joined and left. Without doubt, Agarwal brings with him a richness of embarrassment to BJP.
First Published: Mar 13, 2018 18:32 IST