- Food packets with liquor bottles were distributed at BJP leader's event
- Uttar Pradesh BJP Lok Sabha lawmaker writes to Yogi Adityanath
- Food packets with liquor were also given to young boys at the event
People attending an event hosted by a BJP leader and his son in Uttar Pradesh eagerly opened food packets distributed to them and couldn't believe their eyes. There was a bottle of liquor stashed along with puri and sabzi.
Nitin Agarwal, who organised the event on Monday at the Shravana Devi temple in Hardoi, is the son of Naresh Agarwal, who crossed over from the Samajwadi Party to the BJP in March 2018. Both were present at the event.
Nitin Agarwal, a Samajwadi Party lawmaker, openly calls himself a "BJP supporter" and has several times in the past made it clear that he does not want to be associated with the party led by former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. The Samajwadi Party has not suspended him.
"I am a BJP supporter. I don't support the SP anymore. I have clarified to many other media houses that I am not with the SP anymore," Nitin Agarwal told NDTV.
A video shot by someone who attended the event shows Nitin Agarwal announcing from the stage that food was being distributed. Mr Agarwal directed the village pradhans or headmen to collect the boxes for their respective villages and distribute them.
"All the pradhans must go to the place where food is being served... they must take the packets and distribute it among the villagers," Mr Agarwal was heard saying on the microphone.
Some of the packets were even handed out to young boys. One of the boys opened the box and showed how liquor in a plastic bottle was kept on one side along with puri, sabzi and mithai.
On pointing out that his name is still mentioned as a Samajwadi Party leader on the official Uttar Pradesh assembly website, Nitin Agarwal told NDTV, "I don't know about it. I have asked the SP to take action against me. They have not done anything, but I do not support them anymore."
Calling the liquor distribution an "unfortunate incident", another BJP leader, parliamentarian Anshul Verma, has written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Mr Verma told news agency ANI that he will inform the "top leadership" about the distribution of liquor bottles at Nitin Agarwal's event. "To rectify its mistake, the BJP will have to rethink," said Mr Verma.
"Naresh Agarwal, who recently joined the BJP had organised a pasi sammelan (gathering) at one of our religious places. I will call it an unfortunate incident because it (liquor bottles) was given to small children whom we had given pens and copies earlier. I will inform the top leadership and write to the excise department about how such large-scale distribution of liquor went unnoticed," Mr Verma said.
Naresh Agarwal and his son have not yet commented on liquor bottles distributed at the temple event.
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