Breaking his silence after several days over the much talked-about elopement of Sakshi-Ajitesh, the father of the girl and BJP MLA Rajesh Mishra said that a lobby of politicians and officials hatched a conspiracy to malign his image and finish his political career under the garb of the elopement incident.
"My daughter was pressured by a local politician to record a video. A bureaucrat's wife was also involved in provoking my daughter to speak against (my) family," said Mishra, an MLA from Bareilly's Bithari-Chainpur consituency.
Naming the local politician as Gaurav Arman, a former Block Pramukh, Mishra said, "Gaurav (a former business partner) had cheated me so I parted ways with him. He shook hands with my political adversaries, including a bureaucrat's wife, and hatched a conspiracy (of elopement) with the help of Ajitesh's family."
On bureaucrat's (a senior UP official) wife's connection, Mishra said that the "lady was eyeing Bathari (consituency from where Mishra was elected MLA in 2017). She had political ambition and therefore an axe to grind."
On Sakshi's inter-caste marriage with Ajitesh, the BJP MLA told IANS on phone from his house in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh: "She is grown up... she can decide her future. I will not be a barrier for her. However, the way a lobby of my adversaries acted against me, tried to add fuel to the fire and finally tried to malign the image of my family has hurt me. I do not want to go out anywhere. The Assembly session is on in Lucknow. As an MLA I should attend the session. But frankly, I do not feel like going out anywhere."
On Sakshi's elopement with Ajitesh, the BJP leader said he did not want to comment on the incident and role of his daughter as the entire family now suffers from depression.
"Recollecting the incident is painful. Try to understand the culture of our villages -- how your adversaries try to make the best use of an opportunity and malign one's image. I know, that besides Gaurav, two other senior politician are backing Ajitesh's family," he said.
On the video used by his daughter Sakshi, the BJP leader said,"On July 3, two youths, in touch with Gaurav, arrived in a vehicle at my house around 4 pm. I was then returning from Lucknow while my son Vicky had gone to AIIMS (in Delhi with a patient). My younger daughter was sleeping when Sakshi went out. The next day Gaurav pressured Ajitesh and Sakshi to record a video and release it on social media. An entire lobby (of political adversaries) acted against me and provoked Ajitesh to speak against me. The video was recorded near Allahabad. My question is: When I did not speak even a word (to Sakshi), then why was the video recorded and distributed to top media houses?" asked Rajesh Mishra.
The BJP MLA alleged that Gaurav has a criminal background and boasts of connections with dons.
"I am awaiting the outcome of police investigations into an audio recording which reveals that Gaurav was planning to kill me. The recording has been provided to the police by a former aide of Gaurav," said Mishra.
"Sometime back I had a tiff with SSP Bareilly over 'kanvad yatra'. After this incident, Gaurav assumed that I am not having good relations with the police. He tried to avail this opportunity and hatched a conspiracy against me," Mishra said, adding," Let me tell you, I have no grudge against police or district administration officials. On the contrary I am thankful to them for initiating a probe into the audio recording (relating to death threat against Mishra)
On being asked about whether any senior party leader or Chief Minister's Office has approached him after the elopement case, Rajesh Mishra said, "It's a personal matter. It can happen with any family. What can the party do in such matters? As far as the conspiracy against me is concerned, the subsequent enquiry into the matter will unmask the faces involved in it," he said.