In a blow to the Opposition in Uttar Pradesh, senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Agarwal joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Agarwal addressed a press conference on Monday along with Union minister Piyush Goyal and announced his entry into the BJP.
Agarwal, in his address to media persons, said he is influenced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. "India is on the path to development under Narendra Modi," he added. His son Nitin has also joined the BJP.
Speaking about the SP, Agarwal said that the party has 'lost its way' in recent times. He also added, "I have no preconditions for joining the BJP. Please do not say that I am joining the party as I am hopeful of a Rajya Sabha seat or something of that nature."
Piyush Goyal said that under the chief ministership of Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh has seen a new era of development. "The BJP has emerged as the only alternative for the people and the party is changing the face of the country. I held discussions with Agarwal about his joining the BJP and so did (party president) Amit Shah."
Last week, the SP named Jaya Bachchan as its Rajya Sabha nominee, overlooking Agarwal, according to a report in Financial Express.
In January 2017, Agarwal refuted reports of his joining the BJP, alleging that the party was 'spreading rumours' due to its fear of losing voters among traders, as per a PTI report carried by Economic Times,
Before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Agarwal, in a controversial dig at Narendra Modi, said that someone who had worked at a tea shop 'can never have a national perspective,' The Times of India reported.
Updated Date: Mar 12, 2018 17:04 PM