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SP's Naresh Agrawal joins BJP

SP's Naresh Agrawal joins BJP

In a major twist ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, outgoing Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Aggarwal joined the BJP at party headquarters in Delhi, protesting his party's decision to deny him re-nomination for a third term and chosing actor Jaya Bachchan instead. "He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachhan ji are improper and unacceptable", the external affairs minister tweeted.

"Shri Naresh Agarwal has joined Bhartiya Janata Party. Nobody found it proper", said Agrawal, who is set to retire from the Rajya Sabha on April 2.

He was flanked by several BJP leaders, including union minister Piyush Goyal, who welcomed him into the party. I did not find it appropriate. SP has already nominated Jaya Bachchan as its only candidate for the Upper House, while deciding to come together with Congress to back BSP nominee Ambedkar.

Mr Agarwal further said that his "community" (Baniya-Vaish) had "anyway" been big supporters of the BJP and would therefore be happy to see him in the BJP. "Nobody found it proper", Agrawal, who was the SP's Rajya Sabha member, said.

"I have been reduced to somebody working in films".

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With 47 MLAs in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, the Samajwadi Party could send just one candidate to the upper house and it chose Jaya Bachchan over Agarwal. "I was influenced by the work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath. Meri koi shart par nahi aya, koi Rajya Sabka ki ticket ki maang nahi hai", Naresh Agrawal said on joining BJP.

The senior leader said he did not have any demands from the BJP.

After its eight "official" candidates filed nominations early on Monday, the last day for nominations, the party asked its two state general secretaries Vidya Sagar Sonkar and Salil Vishnoi, and Ghaziabad-based businessman Anil Agarwal to file their papers as well. But the party sprang a surprise on Monday by announcing three more candidates in all and left the joint opposition bewildered.

His son Nitin Agarwal, who won Hardoi constituency on SP ticket, too joined the BJP today.