Lakhimpur Kheri goes to the polls; What does it have in store for the BJP?

Lakhimpur Kheri could pose trying times for the BJP, as the people are yet to come to terms with the death of farmers in October.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s toughest battle as part of the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh is underway today as the people of Lakhimpur Kheri line up to cast their votes. As many as 59 constituencies spread across Lakhimpur Kheri, Lucknow and a few other places will vote in the fourth phase of the UP poll battle.

Significantly enough, Lakhimpur Kheri could prove to be a spot where BJP could be mowed down by the general public, who are yet to come to terms with the death of four farmers during a protest in October.

The four farmers had died a violent death. As the farmers’ protests were raging, Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra allegedly drove his SUV into the midst of the protesting farmers and mowed down four to death. Though arrested, Ashish Mishra was set out on bail, which the farmers have now challenged in the Supreme Court.

Lakhimpur Kheri and the farmers’ tragedy

As Lakhimpur Kheri’s voters queue up in large numbers in front of the polling booths, the tragedy of the four famers would weigh much on their minds. A win for the Bharatiya Janata Party is so important for Union Minister Ajay Mishra, as he knows the magnitude of damage his son’s act has brought in. The party too knows the farmers’ protest and the mowing down of four of them by a Minister’s son could well turn out against it. But the campaign scenario had seen the party doing a huge effort in explaining and convincing so as to make sure its votes don’t go away.

When the 59 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh, including capital Lucknow and Lakhimpur Kheri, votes in the fourth phase of Assembly polls, the BJP unit in Uttar Pradesh will stay fingers crossed. Apart from the BJP, the Congress party will also see its most prestigious constituency voting today.

Poll day in Rae Bareli

Five constituencies in Rae Bareli, the Sonia Gandhi stronghold, will also line up to vote. Winning all seats in Rae Bareli would make the Congress high command happy, and whether the voters would want to make Sonia happy is something we need to wait and see. The 59 seats that are voting today include the constituencies in the districts of Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Banda, and Fatehpur.

A look at the 2017 results would be interesting at this point of time. The BJP was the winner with 51 seats going its way then. This includes all 8 seats in Lakhimpur. While the Samajwadi Party won four in 2017, the Congress won four, and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party won two. Apna Dal (Sonelal), a BJP ally, bagged one seat last time.

The fourth phase is currently underway and how the people would vote in these changed circumstances would be interesting to know.

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