Senior Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal today quit the party and joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal, party spokesperson Sambit Patra and others.
The development comes in the backdrop of SP denying him a ticket to the Rajya Sabha.
According to reports, Naresh Agarwal was unhappy with the party president and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for giving the RS ticket to actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan.
"My comparison was drawn with those working in films... I was rejected for those who dance in films, work in films. I found it not proper. Nobody found it proper," Agrawal, who was the SP's Rajya Sabha member, said.
Naresh Agrawal joins BJP in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal at BJP headquarters in Delhi. He was in Samajwadi Party earlier. pic.twitter.com/Xr2bS57dh2— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2018
Describing his joining the BJP as "homecoming", he said he would unconditionally do whatever the party wanted him to.
"I have not joined the Bharatiya Janata Party for any Rajya Sabha ticket, nor have I set any condition."
'Naresh Agarwal has joined Bhartiya Janata Party. He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachhan ji are improper and unacceptable,' tweets EAM Sushma Swaraj (File Pics) pic.twitter.com/BXZ1TBtX22— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2018
The Samajwadi Party has 47 MLAs in the 403-Chair Uttar Pradesh Assembly. The party can send just one candidate to the Upper House.
Agarwal, a leader belonging to Akhilesh Yadav-camp, also held the office of party’s national spokeperson.
Watch video: Senior Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal joins BJP