UP Elections 2022: Lakhimpur Kheri Fallout Fails to Deter Voters From BJP
Despite the allegations against BJP leader Ajay Mishra Teni's son, the BJP won all 8 seats in the district.
The negative fallout of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in October 2021 does not appear to have impacted the Bharatiya Janata Party's electoral chances in the region, with the saffron party having won all seats in the district.
The deaths of several farmers who were mowed down by an SUV owned by Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni's son Ashish Mishra was expected to affect the BJP's vote share in the region, but the results on Thurdsay, 10 March, have belied such assumptions.
Along with the Nighasan constituency where the incident took place, the BJP has won all the other seven seats in Lakhimpur Kheri, including Palia, Gola Gokarnath, Sri Nagar, Dhaurahra, Lakhimpur, Kasta, and Mohammadi.
In four constituencies, the BJP had found itself with comfortable majorities over its nearest rival, the Samajwadi Party (SP):
Nighasan: Shashank Verma of the BJP defeated RS Kushwaha of the SP by 41,009 votes.
Palia: The BJP's Harvinder Kumar Sahni defeated the SP's Pritinder Singh Kakku by 38,129 votes.
Gola Gokrannath: BJP candidate Arvind Giri defeated the SP's Vinay Tiwari by 29,294 votes.
Dhaurahra: BJP candidate Vinod Shankar defeated Varun Singh of the SP by 24,610 votes.
The fight proved closer in the remaining four seats:
Sri Nagar: Manju Tyagi of the BJP defeated Ram Sharan of the SP by 17,608 votes.
Lahhimpur: Yogesh Verma of the BJP defeated Utkarsh Verma Madhur of the SP by 20,578 votes.
Kasta: BJP candidate Saurabh Singh defeated the SP's Suneel Kumar Lala by 13,817 votes.
Mohammdi: Lokendra Pratap Singh of BJP defeated Daud Ahmad of SP by 4,871 votes.
What Had Happened
On 3 October 2021, protesting farmers had gathered in Tikunia to register their protests against the three farm laws ahead of an event where UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya was to be the chief guest.
Thousands of protesting farmers had occupied the helipad at Maharaja Agrasen Sports Ground, where the Deputy CM's helicopter was initially supposed to land. Due to the gathering, Maurya changed his plans and reached Lakhimpur at noon by road instead.
As per reports, Ashish Mishra reached the site to receive the deputy CM where farmers had gathered to protest when clashes erupted. After Mishra's car allegedly ran over four farmers, dozens of protesters set fire to the two vehicles that injured farmers, and three BJP workers and a journalist died in the subsequent violence.
Following the intervention of the Supreme Court after the investigation initially made little headway, the UP Police SIT formed to probe the incident filed a first chargesheet in October last year. It had named Ashish Mishra as the main accused and claimed the killing of the farmers was part of a pre-planned conspiracy.
On 10 February, Mishra was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court after being in jail since 10 October 2021.
A chargesheet was also filed in the second case arising out of the incident, where seven farmers were charged over the retaliatory violence.
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