‘Being politician doesn’t mean…’: UP BJP chief cautions party workers amid row over Lakhimpur Kheri violence

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Updated: October 11, 2021 1:35 PM

Swatantra Dev Singh's remarks came after Union minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra was arrested on Saturday in connection with mowing down of four farmers by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3.

Swatantra Dev Singh's remarks came after Union minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra was arrested on Saturday in connection with mowing down of four farmers by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3.

As Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh faces criticism over the handling of Lakhimpur Kheri incident, state BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh on Sunday said that being a political leader doesn’t mean that one “mow down anyone by a Fortuner car”.

His remarks came after Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra was arrested on Saturday in connection with mowing down of four farmers by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3.

Addressing a meeting of UP BJP’s minority morcha, Singh said, “Being a political leader doesn’t mean that you loot, it doesn’t mean that you mow down anyone by Fortuner. You will get votes by your behaviour. If 10 people of your locality are praising you, my heart swells (with pride). Your behaviour should be such that people do not turn away their faces after seeing you,” he asserted.

The BJP leader’s comments came hours after Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accused the government of trying to “save” the Union minister’s son in the case and said except BJP leaders and their “billionaire friends” nobody was safe in the country.

Four farmers were mowed down by the SUV when a group agitating against the Centre’s three new farm laws was demonstrating against the visit of UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. Two BJP workers and a driver were allegedly beaten to death by the angry protesters, while a local journalist was also killed in the violence.

The state government has been at the receiving end amid Opposition’s charges of shielding the Union minister’s son, who was arrested five days after the incident took place. The arrest came after the Supreme Court pulled up the government over delay in police action and handling of the matter.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is spearheading the agitation against the Centre’s three farm laws, had alleged that the violence was held under a pre-planned conspiracy and demanded the arrest of the minister and his son. The farmer unions said if the government does not accept their demands by October 11, they will take out a ‘Shaheed Kisan Yatra’ from Lakhimpur Kheri with the ashes of slain farmers.

A nine-member team headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Upendra Agarwal has been formed to investigate the FIR lodged against the minister’s son and others in the violence case.

Singh also appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, saying, “Two persons from a poor background became the Prime Minister of India and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. PM Modi opened bank accounts for the poor when no one bothered. PM Modi and Yogi constructed seven lakh homes in the state. Did anyone ask about votes and religion?

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