Ajay Mishra Teni defeated by SP candidate, Lakhimpur Kheri victims’ kin say ‘public delivered justice’


Lucknow: Union Minister of State and BJP candidate from UP’s Kheri Lok Sabha seat Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ lost to Samajwadi Party candidate Utkarsh Verma by a margin of over 34,000 votes Tuesday. A family member of a journalist who died in the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri incident, for which the minister’s son is on trial, has called it “half-justice”.

Speaking to ThePrint, Durgesh Kashyap, cousin of journalist Raman Kashyap, who was killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, said the “public has done justice to the departed souls”.

“When the BJP fielded Teni from the constituency, it was like a tight slap on our faces. But, today, the public has done justice for us,” he added.

While SP’s Verma secured 5,57,365 votes, Teni polled 5,23,036 votes. The Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP’s) Anshay Kalra stood third with 1,10,460 votes. In the 2022 assembly elections, all five assembly constituencies within Kheri LS seat — Palia, Nighasan, Gola Gokrannath, Sri Nagar and Lakhimpur — were won by the BJP.

ThePrint had reported in April that in his election affidavit, Teni had said he owns “zero” vehicles, though he had previously admitted that the SUV that crushed four farmers and a journalist in Lakhimpur Kheri in October 2021, was registered in his name.

Teni’s election affidavit also mentioned he had moveable assets worth Rs 1,87,04,085, which includes bank deposits, jewellery, and investments in Ambika Rice Mills.

He had subsequently filed a revised affidavit.

Speaking to ThePrint, a senior SP leader from Lakhimpur Kheri unit said there were multiple reasons for Teni’s defeat. “The main reason was infighting and the fact that Sikh voters in the constituency were agitated against him for his son’s involvement in the massacre. At least three MLAs from the region were unhappy with Teni’s candidature.”

The leader further said, “There are about 60,000 Sikh voters in the constituency who would have voted against Teni. But most of all, it is because the PDA (SP’s poll plank of Pichde (backward classes or OBCs), Dalits, Alpasankhyak (minorities)) has taken shape and fielding an OBC candidate worked in our favour.”

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)

Also Read: How Akhilesh Yadav trumped Modi-Yogi in Uttar Pradesh — ‘sway of caste over communal politics’

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