This Article is From Feb 23, 2022

Minister Ajay Mishra, Scores Of Cops, Chaos As He Votes In UP's Lakhimpur

UP Elections: Ajay Mishra Teni's son Ashish Mishra allegedly ran over protesting farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri with his SUV.

New Delhi:

Surrounded by scores of policemen and paramilitary personnel, Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni voted at a polling booth in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur today.

The minister flashed a "V" (for victory) sign as reporters shouted questions on his son Ashish Mishra, accused of running over farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri last year.  

Ashish Mishra, jailed last October, was released on bail a week ago, in the middle of the UP election. 

Chaotic visuals showed the minister pushing and shoving to get ahead as a large number of policemen formed a barrier between him and the media. 

"Ajay Mishra-ji!" shouted reporters as they tried to catch his attention and failed to get close to him. The images raised questions about a voter taking so much security with him to a polling booth.

Ajay Mishra, Union Minister of Home in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government and senior BJP leader, enjoys huge influence in eastern UP, especially Lakhimpur.

The minister has rarely answered media questions on his murder-accused son and was even caught on camera attacking journalists last year. 

Ashish Mishra was arrested in October, days after he allegedly ran over protesting farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri with his SUV. The farmers were marching against the minister's visit for an event when the convoy crashed into them.

In videos that caused outrage and horror, an SUV was seen ramming and crushing farmers. Ashish Mishra and his father have both denied that he was driving the SUV.

Four farmers and a journalist were run over. In violence that followed, protesters chased those in the BJP convoy and beat them. Three more, including two BJP workers, were killed.

UP police sources claim their 5,000-page chargesheet against Ashish Mishra and the other accused place him at the spot on the day of the incident using multiple eye witness accounts, CCTV footage and photographs. 

In 2017, the BJP won all eight assembly seats in Lakhimpur, in a campaign led by Ajay Mishra, a brahmin face who is a strongman and among the BJP's most powerful UP leaders. 

Uttar Pradesh voted in the fourth round today of seven-phase voting. The results will be declared on March 10.