Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Uttarpradesh -

NEW DELHI: Fac­ing a back­lash for his ‘sex­ist’ com­ments against actor-politi­cian Jaya Bachchan, Ra­jya Sabha mem­ber and newly minted BJP leader Naresh Agrawal on Tues­day re­gret­ted his re­marks but said his words were twisted by the me­dia.

Agrawal walked out of the Sa­ma­jwadi Party and joined the BJP on Mon­day af­ter he lost out to Bachchan in the race for re-nom­i­na­tion to the Up­per House. At a press con­fer­ence to an­nounce his in­duc­tion in the BJP, Agrawal said he was by­passed for the Ra­jya Sabha for some­one who used to “dance and act in films”.

“My in­ten­tion was not to hurt any­body’s sen­ti­ments. I re­gret if my com­ment has hurt some­body’s feel­ings and with­draw my words,” Agar­wal said, adding me­dia had twisted his com­ments.

His com­ments in­vited strong crit­i­cism from sev­eral BJP lead­ers, in­clud­ing ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter Sushma Swaraj, who said the com­ments were “im­proper and un­ac­cept­able”.

Her min­is­te­rial col­league, Har­sim­rat Kaur Badal, too, came down hard on Agrawal.

Talk­ing to me­dia on Mon­day, Agrawal said he walked out of the SP be­cause he was com­pared to “those work­ing in films... I was re­jected for those who dance in films, work in films”.

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