New Delhi: Naresh Agarwal's departure is an advantage for the Samajwadi Party (SP), said party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday.
Former SP leader Agarwal on Monday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with his MLA son Nitin Agarwal and supporters. He bid adieu to the SP as it did not field him for the Rajya Sabha polls and gave the election-ticket to film actor Jaya Bachchan.
"He (Naresh Agarwal) left the SP and that is an advantage for us. We will never consider his resignation as a loss to our party," Mulayam told reporters here.
When asked about his reaction on Agarwal's comments about Jaya Bachchan, Mulayam refused to comment and only said, "Whatever he wanted to say that he has already said publically about her."
On Monday, Agarwal also found him in the midst of a controversy over his remarks on Jaya Bachchan.
Agarwal said he was being neglected in the SP and was hurt when instead of him, the party gave the ticket to Jaya Bachchan "who used to dance in films'.
"My stature has been equated with that of a mere film actress. Just because she could dance and act in films, my candidature (to Rajya Sabha) has been sacrificed for her. I haven't taken it kindly," Agarwal said.
Agarwal faced criticism from the BJP's two union ministers: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Zubin Irani.
"Naresh Agrawal has joined Bhartiya Janata Party. He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachhan ji are improper and unacceptable," Swaraj tweeted.
Irani said when a woman's honour is challenged, "we stand as one in our condemnation irrespective of our politics".