Lakhimpur Kheri Accused Ajay Mishra Teni Not On BJP 'Star Campaigner' List
The BJP released its list of ‘star campaigners’ yesterday, with Prime Minister Modi on top, of course, followed by other nationally-known BJP faces like Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, and Uttar Pradesh’s incumbent Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the eighth spot. But it does not feature Ajay Mishra Teni, a minister of state in the Home Ministry, who has been in the glare of controversy after the Lakhimpur Kheri anti-farmer violence that occurred in November 2021. Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra is accused of a conspiracy to murder farmers in the infamous incident in which four protesting farmers were mowed down by an SUV that belongs to Teni and was being allegedly driven by Ashish Mishra. The UP Police’s SIT (Special Investigation Team) itself stated in its report that the farmers were run over as part of a pre-planned conspiracy.
Violence In Lakhimpur, Calls For Teni’s Sacking In the subsequent violence provoked by the mauling of farmers, three BJP workers and one journalist were also killed. There were calls for expelling Ajay Mishra Teni from his position as Minister of State (Home) and it became a major demand during the farmers’ protest as well, but the Centre did not heed. The farmers had aseembled on the day of the violence to protest against Ajay Mishra Teni because of his earlier remarks caught on film which he publicly addresses a crowd and asks farmers to ‘mend your ways or I will fix you in two minutes’ in a threatening tone. The farmers decided to assemble against this, and were run over by a Thar SUV which was being followed at high speed by other vehicles, on their way back. Despite repeated calls for action against him by opposition politicians, farmer leaders, and civil society, Ajay Mishra Teni was not expelled from the Cabinet. It is significant that Ajay Mishra is a Brahmin face in his area and experts believe that the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh is a reasin holding the government back from pursuing action against him. UP has a 10% population of Brahmins, and the BJP at the Centre is careful about not letting this base slip from its hands. Caste Calculus In Uttar Pradesh! According to estimates by political parties, there are 25-27% general category castes (including 10% Brahmins and 7% Thakurs), 39-40% OBCs, (including 7-9% Yadavs and 4% Nishads) and approximately 20% Scheduled Castes and Tribes (including 10% Jatavs), and a 16-19% Muslim population. These proportion of castes is indicative of why the ‘backward’ castes have been advocating for caste to be included in the census (caste census) while the Centre at present is rejecting these calls.
उत्तर प्रदेश विधानसभा चुनाव में प्रचार के लिए भाजपा के प्रमुख नेताओं की सूची... pic.twitter.com/CAy5RrboHW— BJP Uttar Pradesh (@BJP4UP) January 19, 2022