Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal speaks in Parliament. Photo: NDTV

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal sparked outrage among BJP lawmakers on Wednesday by linking the names of Hindu gods with alcohol while speaking about “cow lynchings,” according to media reports.

Ruling party members in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) demanded that he retract and apologize for his statements. Agarwal initially refused to apologize to the “contractors of the Hindu religion,” but he eventually gave in to pressure from his fellow parliamentarians.

Speaking on cow vigilante killings, Agarwal shared his memory of a 1991 incident at a school that had been turned into a jail. He recited the names of Hindu deities linked to alcohol that were written on the wall of that school.

Pointing towards the treasury bench, Agarwal said the lines were written by “your people,” according to IANS. Angry BJP members declared that they would not allow anyone in the Upper House to “insult Hindu Gods..

Furious ministers shouted slogans against Agarwal, who withdrew his remarks and apologized for any offense caused. The BJP members, however, continued shouting.

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien adjourned the House twice and urged the media to refrain from reporting the expunged comments.