Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal Links Hindu Gods to Alcohol, Apologises After Outrage

A controversial remark by a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader against Hindu Gods today triggered uproar in the Rajya Sabha, forcing its two adjournments before he expressed regret.

SP leader Naresh Agrawal made the comment while participating in a short duration debate on ‘rising incidents of lynching and atrocities on minorities and dalits across the country’. The comment triggered an uproar as the ruling party members said he had hurt religious feelings of the majority of people and this also was “lynching”. They insisted that he should apologise. After two adjournments, when the House re-assembled, Agrawal said he did not intend to hurt sentiments of anyone.

“If someone has been been hurt, I express my regret,” the SP member said. Later, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien ruled that part of Agrawal’s remarks had been expunged and asked the media to guard against using these.Earlier, while taking strong objection to the usage of words by Agrawal, Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “He (Agrawal) has linked up each of the Hindu Gods with brands of alcohol. If he had said this outside, he would have been liable to prosecution.