Naresh Agarwal, Akhilesh loyalist, joins BJP. Click here to know about him

Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agarwal is welcomed by Union Minister Piyush Goyal as he joins BJP at party headquarters in New Delhi

Agrawal's move comes days after the Samajwadi Party chose to name veteran Bollywood actress and parliamentarian Jaya Bachchan as its candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. Agrawal drew sharp criticism from the BJP, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who said his remarks were "improper and unacceptable".

Senior SP leader Naresh Agarwal, who joined the BJP earlier in the day, has also announced that his son Nitin Agarwal, sitting MLA from Hardoi, will be voting for BJP.

The SP nominated Jaya Bachchan as its only candidate and made a decision to extendd the remaining votes to BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal welcomed Agrawal to the party at the BJP headquarters. Because of her, the ticket was not given to me, which I did not find right.

Agarwal's term in the upper house ends shortly and he had protested Bachchan's nomination. "I held discussions with Agarwal about his joining the BJP and so did (party president) Amit Shah".

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"I was compared with a person working in the films..."

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. The SP has only 47 votes and party chief Akhilesh Yadav can only send one leader to Parliament.

Her condemnation for Agrawal came just moments after the latter left the Samajwadi Party to join the BJP. He was reportedly unhappy over being denied a Rajya Sabha ticket by his former party, which has preferred to nominate actor Jaya Bachchan over him. Making it clear that he was not bargaining for any position in the BJP, Aggarwal said, "I have not put any condition nor am I asking for a Rajya Sabha ticket".

He has often changed parties in the last over 30 years of his political career.

He was also the Minister of Tourism in Mulayam Singh Yadav government from 2003 to 2004. Agrawal said the Samajwadi Party was a strong force in 2012 but had been considerably weakened. His whole team today joined the party.

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