In a sad state of affairs, in the past few days’ condolence visits, monetary compensations, and assurance of government jobs to the kins of deceased have been pouring in from all political parties, morchas, and unions at Lakhimpur Kheri while there is a show of complete absentia in case of Kashmir death victims.
Unarguably the sole difference lies in the locations of these two episodes. The basis of the unfortunate Lakhimpur incidence was initiated after a protest was organized to show disagreement with the three farm laws passed in 2020 at a small village named Tikunia where Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Misra Teni, the MP from Lakhimpur Kheri were to attend an event. The result of this aftermath is well known by now, although both the protestors as well as BJP have been refuting each other’s claims.
All said and done, the attention given to this particular event is not because of the misery caused to the families of the deceased and definitely not for the farm laws but because it occurred in a poll-bound state as that of the most populous Uttar Pradesh. The election gurus couldn’t have asked for a better stage set as even the regional parties have left no edge unpolished in making the most of the present situation.
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered a probe and said, “The government will go into the depth and expose elements involved in the incident and will take strict action against them.” However the likes of Akhilesh Yadav have been sitting on a dharna and is planning to go to the site today, soon after the event Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati claimed her party leader Satish Chandra Mishra was placed under house arrest in Lucknow preventing him to visit Lakhimpur Kheri and as per Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary, It took him 14 hours of walking over 15 km along marshy rivers, fields, and jungles, changing half a dozen vehicles, hitchhiking in a state transport bus followed by a school bus to reach the epicenter of farm laws related violence.
But the biggest gainers out of these conflicts are Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, the two strong parties of another poll-bound state Punjab.
Taking Congress, for instance, was facing a political crisis itself after a major fallout within their party in Punjab. This episode has not only helped them shift away from the attention from Punjab but also to strengthen their hold in Uttar Pradesh by showing their generosity, as the brother-sister duo of Gandhis at the helm along with their CMs from Punjab and Chattisgarh and other senior party members from Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand have reached or are about to reach the ground zero which be followed by another convoy headed by Sidhu slated to arrive today to express solidarity with the victim families. Along with this, both the Congress CMs have announced a relief of 50 lakhs to the families of deceased farmers and journalist. This comes after the incumbent Uttar Pradesh government announced a compensation of 45 lakhs to the families of all those including the BJP workers who lost their lives, a government job to a family member based on their qualification, and an extra 10 lakhs to those injured. Further, Maha Vikas Aghadi government has called for Maharashtra bandh over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. It should be no surprise if few more groups join the trend soon.
Aam Aadmi Party on the other hand is trying to play its cards in both the poll-bound states. Some 10,000 AAP workers were trying to lay siege to the Punjab governor’s house in Chandigarh yesterday over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh who later had to be dispersed with the help of water cannon by the police, while an AAP delegation has already met the families of deceased farmers in Lakhimpur.
The main concern here should be to formalize a plan and finish this disagreement on-farm laws once and for all, whose greater onus lies on the center but who have rather been a mere spectator over the past one year since the laws have passed, but seeing the current situation this looks like to go on for years as a hot topic for fighting elections, now that the age-old “Election ka Mudda” such as Ram Mandir and Article 370 in Kashmir has been taken care of.
Speaking of Kashmir the bigger question here is, When is the recently found Kashmiri Pandit who feels at home whenever he visits Kashmir planning to go and meet the three innocent victims, who lost their lives doing their daily chores. Or should we consider that a Union administered Jammu & Kashmir serves no gains for them as of now and thus this issue can be addressed and used as and when needed.