Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 4
With the Opposition stepping up offensive and allegations piling up against BJP leaders, including Haryana CM ML Khattar and Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, for their purported controversial remarks, problems are also mounting for UP CM Yogi Adityanath.
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With the fallout of the 2017 farmer deaths in Mandsaur (MP) not so far away, the question is will Adityanath be able to ride the political challenge of 2021-Lakhimpur Kheri farmers’ deaths in the 2022 elections.
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Mishra has denied that his son Ashish Mishra was present at the time of the incident. “There were miscreants who attacked workers with sticks and swords. If my son would’ve been there, he wouldn’t have come out alive,” the BJP’s prominent Brahmin face was quoted as saying. However, a purported video of him warning farmers that he would discipline them in “two minutes” is something that the leadership may find difficult to explain.
While Mishra’s influence in Kheri earned him a BJP LS ticket in the 2014 elections, ground reports are now suggesting growing anger against him and his party despite a “settlement” between the Uttar Pradesh Government and farmers over Kheri violence. Observers say unless the BJP takes some “visible action” against him, the Lakhimpur deaths have the potential to impact its fortunes in the UP elections, quite like Mandsaur deaths in the 2018 Madhya Pradesh polls.
“Even if the BJP takes steps to cool down sentiments, the opposition will do its best to keep the heat on. Farmers constitute a sizable number of UP’s rural population. The saving grace for the BJP and Adityanath is that there is still some time to recover,” says a political observer.