Farmers' body slams BJP for fielding Ajay Mishra from Kheri LS seat, vows protests

Farmers have been demanding the resignation of Mishra, whose son Ashish allegedly ran his car over protesting farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri in 2021

File photo of a Youth Congress protest against Ajay Mishra and his son Ashish
File photo of a Youth Congress protest against Ajay Mishra and his son Ashish


The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Monday condemned the BJP's decision to field Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni from the Kheri Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, and called upon farmers to organise processions in villages across India against his candidature.

The farmers have been demanding the resignation of Teni, whose son Ashish allegedly ran his car over protesting farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri in October 2021. On 3 October, eight people were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri district's Tikunia, where violence erupted as farmers protested against then UP deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to the area.

According to a UP Police FIR, four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in which Ashish was seated. Following the incident, the driver of the SUV and two BJP workers were allegedly lynched by angry farmers. A journalist also died in the violence.

"SKM strongly protests and condemns the BJP for fielding Ajay Mishra Teni, father of main accused Ashish Mishra Teni and also the main conspirator of the dreadful Lakhimpur Kheri farmers’ massacre, in the Lok Sabha elections 2024 from Kheri seat in Uttar Pradesh," it said in a statement. 

"The peaceful protest of farmers on 3rd October 2021 as part of the historic struggle against the three farm acts and on other demands was brutally attacked by running vehicles over farmers, thus killing Nakshtra Singh, Lavjeet Singh, Daljeet Singh and Gurvinder Singh and one journalist Raman Kashyap.

"The farmers' movement has demanded dismissal and prosecution of Ajay Mishra Teni under section 102 IPC and ensure punishment, but the Modi Government has been protecting the minister of state for home during this entire period," the SKM, an umbrella body of several farm unions, said.

"The pressure on the BJP as a political party to declare the candidature of Ajay Mishra Teni exposes the corporate-criminal nexus that grips the BJP-led Modi Raj," it further said.

According to the statement, the SKM, in coordination with the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions (CTU) and other organisations, will face this "open challenge" of the BJP and declare its response in the Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat scheduled for 14 March at New Delhi's Ramlila Maidan.

"SKM calls upon farmers to organise torchlight processions in villages across India against the candidature of Teni for the Kheri seat and to expose the corporate-criminal nexus under Modi Raj. The date of protest will be decided by the respective state coordination committees of SKM," it said.

The SKM also said there will be no other calls for action in Delhi before 14 March. "The states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, parts of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh will participate massively at Ramlila Maidan while there will be representation and nominal participation from other distant states. The state coordination committees of the distant states have planned padyatras, house campaigns and district/ tehsil level maha panchayats during this period," it said.

The SKM, which led the 2020-21 farmers' protests on Delhi's borders against the now-repealed farm laws, also condemned the ban by the Union information and broadcasting ministry on the film Kisan Satyagraha directed by Kesari Haravoo, which was withdrawn at the last minute from the Bengaluru International Film Festival. 

"SKM considers this an act of authoritarianism denying the freedom of expression and democratic values enshrined in the Constitution of India. SKM demands the Modi Government to lift the ban at the earliest," the statement said.

The SKM also appealed to farmers across India to observe International Women’s Day on 8 March while coordinating with women’s organisations and other mass organisations. "SKM greets all the women farmers in India on this occasion and expresses its determination to work towards the emancipation of women and fight all sorts of atrocities and discrimination against them," the statement said.

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