Nagpur: “Just as Modi is proud of his ‘Gujarati samaj’ we are proud of our Agrawal heritage and are not at all amused at the way one of our Gotras have been referred to by the advertisement issued by BJP in Delhi papers today” said Mr. Sandeep Agrawal Vice President of the Agrasen Mandal Nagpur representing about 40,000 to 50,000 Agrawals of the city.”They (the BJP politicians) think they can ‘Use and Throw’ us – but we shall prove them wrong. They come to us for donations, for other assistance, as a Vote Bank and then they insult and humiliate us. Not just this, they mock and ridicule us by caricaturing Kejriwal like that and referring to him as ‘Updravi gotra’ which shall not be tolerated. When they have 7 to 10 Agrawal candidates contesting Delhi elections on BJP tickets how can they make such an advertisement?” Asks Sandeep.
Agrawal also known as (Agarwal, Agrawala, Agarwala, Aggarwal) is a community found throughout northern India, including in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan , Delhi and Uttar Pradesh apart from having a good presence in Calcutta, Chennai and other metros too. One can safely say where ever there is thriving business and trade and industry, you can find an Agrawal. Literally Agrawals are supposed to be sons of Agrasen, a Hindu Saint who attained Godhood. He had 18 sons and each gotra is named after a son. Some of the well known Gotras are Bansal, Jindal, Singhal, Mittal, Goyal or Goenka, Kansal, Garg etc.
This community traditionally has been with the BJP right from its Jansangh days so why BJP should have hit itself on its own foot is really strange and bizarre.
Not only that, since the ad shows India’s Republic day parade with two persons sitting in the audience seeming to represent Modi and Obama, and Kejriwal is shown standing above them all wielding a ‘jhadu’ the message becomes obscure and everyone is being mocked at, say some bemused Agrawals.
“Why would the BJP make a caricature of their own PM and our R day parade?” they ask.
Durga Prasad Agrawal, General Secretary of Maharashtra Agrawal Sammelan’s Vidarbha branch said mention of gotra is “unwanted and unwarranted”. He said that not only Agrawals have been voting for the BJP but so have their employees and their families. So in Nagpur they have enjoyed a vote bank of at least 2 lakh captive votes.
“We Agrawals are very organized along the lines of our Gotra and it means a lot to us. They have attacked our pride. We will not remain quiet, what ever his political leanings we are all proud of Kejriwal, of his sacrifices for the cause of fighting corruption and how he has taken on the might of respective Governments. Going on insulting him and caricaturing him does not go down well with any of us. Today has been the last straw. I hope all the Agrawals and Baniyas of Delhi get together and teach BJP a big lesson” said an agitated Durga Prasad.
“When you are in opposition you can be provocative and critical to an extent, but you have to be very careful when you are in power. People are watching every move of yours ” cautioned Suresh Agrawal.
Many other prominent businessmen of Nagpur expressed displeasure and anguish but did not want to be named.
BJP has since withdrawn this ad, it is learnt. (But how they will remove it from newspapers already printed and circulated is a moot point). Arun Jaitly has stepped forward, but instead of offering an apology has only said “BJP should be more positive in its ads”.
“If the Aam Aadmi Party is born out of politics of negativism then the BJP should not do the same. We have a lot of positives. The BJP should only do positive campaigning is my advice to the party,” he said to some media people.