Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal caused an uproar in the Rajya Sabha yesterday, after linking various Hindu gods and goddesses like Lord Ram and Lord Hanuman with alcohol.
Soon after he made the comment, the ruling members of the house led by Finance minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar demanded an apology from the SP leader. Arun Jaitley stated that had Agarwal made the comment outside the Parliament, he would have been liable for prosecution and Ananth Kumar claimed it was an attack on the whole Hindu community.
After the uproar, the Deputy chairman PJ Kurien stated that the remarks were per se derogatory and that the MP should withdraw them. He also ordered that they be expunged from the record. The MP later, almost reluctantly withdrew them.
This isn’t the only time Naresh Agarwal has caused uproar among the people or embroiled himself in controversies. Here are some other past instances:
- In July 2016, reports alleged that he and Jagdambika Pal were under the scanner for being allegedly involved in a sex racket. Agarwal denied any connection and said that his name was being misused by someone else.
- Naresh Agarwal had caused another uproar in the Rajya Sabha early this year in March by supporting the behaviour of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who had boasted of hitting an Air India employee with slippers. Gaikwad as a result was put on flying ban, which was termed ‘dadagiri‘ of the airlines by Agarwal.
- He is also a motor mouth. In 2013, Tarun Tejpal, the editor of Tehelka magazine was accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague. In response to the incident, Naresh Agarwal claimed that organisations were now scared of hiring women. He also allegedly stated that women should dress more appropriately so that they don’t draw unknown attention.
- During the run up to the Lok Sabha election when PM Modi’s humble ‘tea seller’ background was highlighted, Naresh Agarwal had stated that a tea seller could never become a good Prime Minister.