No discussion on future of Union Minister Ajay Mishra despite arrest of his son
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday got into a huddle over the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections under the shadow of the events of Lakhimpur Kheri that left eight people dead and a cloud of controversy over local BJP strongman and Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra.
Senior leaders present at the meeting called by party president J.P. Nadda in New Delhi included general secretary organization B.L. Santhosh, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, State BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh and State general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal.
Senior sources in the BJP insisted that the meeting was more about charting out the organizational programmes in the run up to the Assembly elections rather than whether Mr. Mishra needs to step down after his son’s arrest in the Lakhimpur Kheri deaths case.
“In the next 100 days we will be charting out 100 programmes for outreach, and that is what the meeting is about. The planning of these programmes, including community outreach, meetings with panna pramukhs (those entrusted with reaching out to individual voters), and also getting in touch with labharthis (beneficiaries of welfare programmes of the government),” said a senior office bearer of the BJP in Delhi.
As for whether or not Mr. Mishra will continue in his position in the Union cabinet even after his son has been accused of running over farmers with his vehicle in Lakhimpur Kheri, sources said that call was for the government to take.
“Currently, Ajay Mishra has been very firm in his insistence that his son was not present at the spot where people were mowed down by cars belonging to supporters of the Minister. The Uttar Pradesh police has, however, mentioned him in FIRs and arrested him. That is where the situation stands. We are awaiting firm evidence,” said a source.
The question hovering over Mr. Mishra’s resignation therefore depends on the nature of the evidence that the Uttar Pradesh police can dredge up.
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