LAKHIMPUR KHERI: The October 3 deadly clashes in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh’s Terai region have forced opposition leaders to camp in the district and are vociferously demanding the arrest of Minister of state (MoS) for home affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish in connection with the death of farmers.
The BJP, on the other hand, has accused the opponents of indulging in vulture politics and trying to take political advantage by vitiating the atmosphere in the region.
Eventually, Congress leaders and siblings Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi apart from AAP’s Rajya Sabha Sanjay Singh and Delhi MLA Raghav Chadha — who as his party’s co-incharge led a Punjab delegation with a group of Sikh legislators — and RLD’s Jayant Choudhary were allowed to reach Kheri and meet the bereaved families.
Congress even took along its Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab CM Charanjit Channi in a show of strength, that albeit became a spectacle after BJP mocked at a video that showed Priyanka waving with a smiling face.
A visibly perturbed Congress had even fired a missive to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, asking him why TMC’s Sushmita Dev was allowed to visit the villages and farmers. This even as West Bengal was seeing a high-stake poll battle last week between Mamata Banerjee and BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal in Bhabanipur.
Strangely, BSP supremo Mayawati hasn’t seized the opportunity to give a boost to her beleaguered party that has remained out of favour with UP for nearly 10 years. Many political analysts also questioned former chief minister and Samajwadi Party (SP)’s party president Akhilesh Yadav’s delay in visiting Kheri.
The team of The New Indian’s reporters on ground zero draws up an assessment on how the unfolding of events in Lakhimpur Kheri will have an impact on the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections that are only a few months away.