BJP Bigwig Ajay Mishra Teni Loses Kheri Seat To SP’s Utkarsh Verma

BJP Bigwig Ajay Mishra Teni Loses Kheri Seat To SP’s Utkarsh Verma

Lok Sabha Election Results: In a closely contested election, Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni has lost his bid for a third term in the Lok Sabha from the Kheri parliamentary seat. Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Utkarsh Verma Madhur emerged victorious, marking a significant political shift in the region. Ajay Mishra, who secured the Kheri seat in 2014 and 2019, lost by a margin of about 33,198 votes. The Congress, historically strong in Kheri with nine previous wins, did not field a candidate this time due to its alliance with the SP.

This Lok Sabha election is the first since the October 3, 2021, Lakhimpur Kheri violence when a vehicle allegedly associated with Ajay Mishra’s convoy mowed down four farmers protesting against the then-farm laws, with Ajay’s son, Ashish, being the main accused in the case. Ashish is currently out on bail.

Despite widespread resentment over the incident, the BJP continued to support Ajay Mishra. During his rally in May, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav urged voters to “give a reply to the SUV through your votes, oust Ajay Mishra Teni.” Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who campaigned for Mishra, promised a promotion for him if the BJP returned to power, stating, “Ensure the victory of Ajay Mishra and I assure you that I will make him a big man.”

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‘Tight Slap On The Face Of Farmers’: When Opposition, Farmers’ Bodies Demanded Ajay Mishra Teni’s Removal

The Opposition, alongside some farmers’ bodies, demanded Mishra’s removal from his post. Kulwant Singh of the Kisan Union (Tikait) expressed strong opposition, saying, “Naming a person whose son is accused of running over farmers with his vehicle as the candidate from the Lakhimpur seat is nothing but a tight slap on the face of farmers and the family members of those who were killed that day”, as quoted by news agency PTI.

The October 2021 incident did not impact the BJP’s performance in the subsequent 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and 2023 civic elections. In 2022, the BJP secured all five assembly segments within the Kheri parliamentary constituency: Palia, Nighasan, Gola Gokarnath, Sri Nagar, and Lakhimpur.

Lakhimpur Kheri, often referred to as Uttar Pradesh’s sugar bowl due to its sugarcane production, has a diverse electorate of over 18.6 lakh voters. According to internal political party surveys, around 7 lakh voters belong to Kurmi and other OBC communities, 2.5 lakh are Dalits, 3 lakh are Brahmins, 2.65 lakh are Muslims, and about 1 lakh are Sikhs, PTI reported.

Local farmers have voiced various concerns, primarily economic. “We get Rs 6,000 annually from the government but that money is not enough to even procure fertiliser for one crop season. The cost of everything has increased but the prices we get for our produce have not,” said Farzan Khan, a farmer from the Nighasan area, as quoted by PTI.

Since 1998, the Kheri seat has witnessed fluctuating political dominance, with the SP winning thrice, the BJP twice, and the Congress once. 

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