LAKHIMPUR KHERI: The blood that was spilled in Tikunia village on Oct 3 three years in the past is just like the spot on Woman Macbeth’s hand. Some swear they see it even right now, others don’t.
It was right here, a bit distance away from the Kaudiyala Sahib gurdwara, on the T-point simply in entrance of an influence sub-station’s billing counter, that 4 protesting farmers and a neighborhood journalist have been felled when a automobile owned by junior dwelling minister Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ — and allegedly pushed by his son Ashish — ploughed by means of them.In fast retaliation, three members of the convoy – two BJP staff and a driver – have been killed by the villagers.
Echoes of that violent afternoon are nonetheless heard in Lakhimpur Kheri as Mishra seeks re-election for the third time, having gained convincingly from the seat twice – in 2014 and 2019. As one travels onward from Shahjahanpur, passing by a belt within the Terai thought-about so fertile that previous timers say you’ll be able to water a stone and it’ll sprout leaves, speak concerning the polls is invariably punctuated by references to the tragedy in Tikunia. It’s al methods “that incident” addressed variously by locals as “woh hadsa…kand…durghatna”.
Sitting by a area in Palia the place stubble is being burnt for a fast “satha dhaan” — actually a paddy crop grown in 60 days after farmers sandwich it between harvests of sugarcane and wheat, a observe banned in some states due to the big portions of water that should be used — Prabhjot Singh says he gained’t vote this time. “It’s pointless,” he mentioned. “Teni is more likely to win once more.”
Nearly 40km past Palia, there’s a line of fragile, tottery shacks on the mouth of the Sharda Barrage in Dhaurahara that promote aloo tikki and chai and chilly drinks in luminescent yellow and orange bottles. Jayprakash Sahu owns one of many retailers. He’s busy as a bunch of individuals coming back from Samajwadi Social gathering chief Akhilesh Yadav’s rally have stopped for nashtapani (refreshments). “There will probably be floods quickly. Sharda will drive us away,” he mentioned. “Life is hard. However advantages have reached us. We gained’t lie. I believe Teni is forward once more although the poll is generally for the BJP, not the candidate.”
In Lakhimpur Kheri Lok Sabha constituency, SCs and STs make up the largest chunk, with about 25%, adopted by Kurmis and Brahmins. Muslims, at roughly 14%, and Sikhs, along with Thakurs, Yadavs, Vaishyas and Kayashthas full the opposite half. Up towards Teni, a Brahmin, are the SP’s Utkarsh Verma and the BSP’s Anshay Kalra, a Punja bi. At a current assembly within the district, Mayawati mentioned this is a chance for the folks to avenge the blight of Tikunia.
But when there’s anger towards Teni, it will likely be splintered. “What can we do,” requested Kulvinder Singh, a farmer from Naurangabad village. “Chaudhary (RLD chief Jayant Singh) shouldn’t have joined the NDA. After all, we are going to combat and defeat Ajay Mishra. There are lots of people sad with him.”

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It will not be simple. Months after the happenings in Tikunia, the BJP in 2022 swept not simply the meeting seat of Lakhimpur however 4 others within the neighborhood, stamping with authority its maintain within the constituency. And this was after hundreds of farmers had converged — representatives coming in from 75 districts of UP and every Indian state together with a bunch of opposition leaders – for the antim ardas (final rites) of the 4 lifeless villagers and the journalist, Raman Kashyap. That they had then vowed to overthrow Teni and demanded his sacking as minister.
Mishra himself has been considerably subdued in his marketing campaign this time, as if unwilling to tempt destiny. It hasn’t helped that the Supreme Court docket a couple of days in the past expressed critical concern at reviews that Ashish Mishra, a first-rate accused within the Tikunia case who’s out on bail, violated circumstances to canvass for his father.
Importantly, a number of the BJP legislators have refused to be seen with Mishra, complaining about his “highhandedness”. An MLA in Lakhimpur Kheri, requesting anonymity, informed TOI, “If folks don’t vote for him regardless of the Modi issue, the get together shouldn’t be shocked. They’ll’t stand his vanity. We had given suggestions a few adverse wave towards Teni, however the brass determined to offer him one other probability, perhaps due to the caste issue.”
One other MLA mentioned, “I’ve been speaking to folks in my constituency and lots of say that they gained’t help him. They love the BJP however they equally dislike Teni.”
Acharya Sanjay Mishra, VHP’s prant pracharak, mentioned, “It’s true. Barring one MLA, the remainder aren’t backing Teni. However the BJP will triumph as a result of the vote is for PM Modi and (CM) Yogi Adityanath.”
Sprawling Lakhimpur Kheri, the largest UP district when it comes to dimension, with bountiful rivers crisscrossing it and large forests forming a cover over its head – is poised for a combat. Within the district that borders Nepal – motorbikes from that nation with their crimson registration plates whizz by continuously — a type of with excessive stakes within the battle is Pawan Kashyap, brother of the journalist who died in Tikunia.
“It’s been three years since bhai (brother) handed on. Of the 208 witnesses, solely 5 have been examined. I’ve filed petitions to fast-track the case many occasions within the Supreme Court docket. It’s onerous, however I get braveness from those that’ve stood behind me. There’s nice resistance to Teni. Let’s see.”


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