Former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Friday warned the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that it will not be able to get away with “blatant misuse of power” in the Lakhimpuri Kheri incident as she arrived in Lucknow with a delegation of her Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to meet families of farmers who were killed in the October 3 incident.
“Have reached Lucknow to meet families of farmers mowed down by (Union minister Ajay) Mishra’s goons. No arrest even after five days! Is the law different for people in power? BJP is mistaken if they think they will get away with blatant misuse of power. We demand justice, and immediate arrest of Ajay Mishra,” Badal tweeted on arrival at the Lucknow airport.
Have reached Lucknow to meet families of farmers mowed down by Mishra’s goons. No arrest even after 5 days! Is the law different for people in power? BJP mistaken if they think they will get away with blatant misuse of power! We demand justice & immediate arrest of Ajay Mishra.
The SAD MP attached with her tweet her byte to the media at the airport. “Without discussing with farmer organisations, the three farm laws were imposed upon farmers. Because of this, they are afraid they will lose everything to corporates. However, it is unfortunate that for the last one year, the government is not listening to farmers. However, now, the government is resorting to mowing them down,” Badal said.
Referring to a viral video clip showing a car ramming into protesting farmers at Kheri, she further said, “It’s condemnable that despite the video, eyewitnesses, and the fact that the Supreme Court has taken up the case, neither the minister has been sacked nor has his son been arrested.”
Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister of state for home and local Lok Sabha MP, Ajay Mishra “Teni,” is the prime accused in the case. Though the father and son have both denied that the latter was present at the spot, eyewitnesses have alleged that Ashish Mishra was driving one of the cars which rammed into farmers. Total eight lives were lost in the incident: four farmers, a journalist, two BJP workers and the Union minister’s driver.
The SAD delegation’s visit to Lakhimpur comes two days after Uttar Pradesh’s BJP government, under CM Yogi Adityanath, allowed opposition leaders to enter the district, after blocking them for three days.
SAD, the oldest ally of the BJP, left the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) last September, days after the passage of the agricultural laws. Badal, who was her party’s only representative in the Union government, resigned as the Union minister for food processing in protest against the laws.