By Aditya Aamir
The most prominent feature on Naresh Chandra Agarwal’s expansive face is his nose which has a broad sweep to it. On Monday, he dumped the Samajwadi Party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, a shift that will not be seen unless he gets another chance to take a shot at being Rajya Sabha MP.
For a long, long time Agarwal has been a fixture at the centre in the Upper House seating arrangement. Very soon he will have no RS seat. And he is banking on the BJP to give him one so that he can move from the centre to the right seats, along with Jaitley & Co. But for now, Agarwal dismisses any such reason for joining the BJP after the SP gave him the cold shoulder and chose to field actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan for the Rajya Sabha instead of Agarwal.
Which brings us to the most prominent feature on Agarwal’s face, which he doesn’t mind poking into everything that concerns him and some things that do not concern him – like what is his business that Jaya Bachchan danced in filmy roles? The answer should be ‘none of Agarwal’s business,’ but Agarwal is not beyond sullying his own nose to throw mud at political rivals. He has no self-respect, none at all.
Monday, soon after he was ceremoniously inducted into the BJP along with his MLA son Nitin Agarwal, Naresh Agarwal more or less called Jaya, Amitabh Bachchan’s wife, a ‘naachnewali’ which, as any Bollywood bachelor will attest to is Hindi for dancer, usually used in the pejorative. Agarwal is a nasty chap – rooted in mediocrity to make an honourable statement.
Naresh Agarwal’s cheap statement drew what sounded like ire from BJP’s mother figure, Sushma Swaraj, the minister for external affairs in the Modi government. Swaraj tweeted her displeasure at Agarwal’s ‘sexist’ remark, told him it was “unacceptable” and warned him to behave. The warning should have come from BJP president Amit Shah. But that is okay, Jaya Bachchan would hardly likely notice; she has a presentable Amit of her own on her side.
Naresh Chandra Agrawal’s defection is being seen as a ‘coup’ for the BJP, especially with the soon-to-be held Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. Agarwal brings with him a thick slab of sudden dislike for the SP. He feels betrayed because in the family war between cyclist Akhilesh Yadav and old horse Mulayam Singh Yadav. Naresh chose to ride with Akhilesh, and for that, he was thrown in the ditch a la Aamir Khan in Joh Jeeta Woh Sikandar, another cyclist.
Agarwal comes with the reputation of a hot-on-wheels party-hopper. He jumps parties like cyclists change lanes, at times without the warning tring-tring… He changes gears so adeptly it’s impossible to see the shift coming. He has been part of Congress, BJP, SP and BSP. For a while he had his own party, the Akhil Bharatiya Loktantrik Congress party (ABLCP), to stay in the reckoning.
Unlike his unmovable nose, Agarwal can be quite the moving bloke. He has been minister in two BJP state governments, a minister in Mayawati’s BSP government and a Rajya Sabha MP of the Samajwadi Party. But that is not what makes him the nasty fellow that he is: It is the loose mouth below the broad nose that makes him the offensive elder gentleman. He courts controversy with politically-insensitive comments and sexist remarks.
The BJP should know the kind of reputation that Naresh Chandra Agarwal brings with him. Once to hit at the BJP, he equated Hindu gods with brands of liquor. Then, he stood with Pakistan and said Kulbhushan Jadhav was a spy planted by India in Pakistan. Then, he sought to embarrass the BJP by stating that Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was in bed with separatists. Last month he picked his nose to make an unbecoming reference to PM Modi’s caste to score a weak point.
But it is as a misogynist that he is of a particularly soggy-type. The pair of eyes that goes with his broad nose casts a wide-angled view on all matters gender. In 2014, he told women to take care of what they wear when stepping outdoors – no jeans and tops, please, that will draw the attention of defenceless men.
Then, he gave a broad hint that rape-survivors must be complicit with rapists. So, it was not out of place when on Monday, Naresh Chandra Agarwal of the BJP roiled into yet another sexist controversy by going after Jaya Bachchan’s dancing feet. And that when accomplished actor Jaya Bachchan was never in the classical dancing class of Hema Malini and Vyjayantimala, both of whom have been RS MPs.
The only reason Naresh Chandra Agarwal has found place in the BJP is because Amit Shah and Narendra Modi are so hung on winning elections that they don’t see the dirt on his nose, the most prominent feature on his face. (IPA Service)