LUCKNOW: BJP leader Naresh Agarwal on Friday waded into the controversy over SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s “Jinnah remark”, saying that people who loved Jinnah should leave India and “go to Pakistan”.
Speaking to reporters ahead of a BJP backed state-level ‘Vaishya Sammelan’, scheduled to be organised in Lucknow on November 14, he said that the country belonged to the followers of “Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) and Patel (Vallabh Bhai Patel)”. He was reacting to Akhilesh’s recent remark comparing Muslim league leader and Pakistan founder Jinnah with Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Patel.
Agarwal has been keeping a low profile since 2018 when he joined the BJP after being denied a ticket to Rajya Sabha by the SP. Cine star turned politician Jaya Bachchan was chosen over Agarwal by the SP leadership, a move that left the former RS MP and seven-time MLA from Hardoi riled.
Agarwal’s jibe at Akhilesh marked his aggressive emergence from a relatively dormant political stage to woo the ‘Vaishya’ (trader) community in favour of the BJP ahead of the UP assembly elections. His son, Nitin Agarwal, who now represents Hardoi constituency, was recently propped by the BJP as a candidate for the post of deputy speaker in the UP assembly, a move which was seen as the saffron party’s attempt to bewilder the opposition ranks, mainly the SP, which had fielded its senior lawmaker Narendra Singh Verma, a Kurmi. The BJP has traditionally been banking on the votes of the upper caste, including Vaishya (trader community).
Agarwal said that the BJP has been organising conventions for various communities. “The Vaishya sammelan is also part of the BJP campaign,” he said. He claimed that no political party will be able to stand against the BJP which will have the full support of the Vaishya community and win more than 300 seats.
Earlier this week on November 7, Agarwal had made a scathing attack on the opposition parties in Hardoi, saying that those who did not believe in Lord Rama and considered Jinnah as their leader have been taught to go to temples. In an apparent reference to BSP, Agarwal had said that those who used to say that toilets should be built in Ayodhya have now started remembering the Ram temple. He had also pitched for a law to be made applicable to those who chant “Pakistan Zindabad”. “They have no right to live in this country,” he had said.




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