Union Minister Ajay Mishra Tenny sparked a new controversy on Wednesday when a video showed him insulting some journalists in Lakhimpur when asked about his jailed son. Opposition groups called for the beleagured PM to resign, saying “this is not a good idea.”
The Uttar Pradesh Congress has announced state-wide protests across the state after a video of journalists being abused in Lakhimpur went viral, demanding the resignation of Ajay Mishra Tenny. The Samajwadi Party has also demanded the immediate resignation of the Union Minister, whose son Ashish is the main accused in the Lakhimpur incident where four farmers and a journalist were crushed under a vehicle.
The day before AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi tweeted a video of the incident where the minister was seen abusing journalists, insulting them and calling them “thieves”. He has tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath and reiterated his demand for dismissal of Tenny.
Speaking to media, UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu said, “This is the arrogance of the government, this is not the first incident. Earlier, the government had sent a journalist to jail in Mirzapur to show how children were served salt and bread. I think journalists should come together. The kind of vulgar language and intimidation that the minister has used against journalists today makes it clear that this government wants to suppress the truth against the farmers and the Lakhimpur incident. Congress will raise the issue in the assembly and stand by the journalists. ”
Attacking the BJP in the incident, SP leader and former minister Abhishek Mishra said, “The minister is openly abusing and harassing journalists. This is not acceptable in a democratic system. This frustration of the BJP leaders indicates that the BJP rule in the state is coming to an end. The more it becomes clear how the peasants have been crushed under the car, the more frustration and abuse grows. Such behavior will not be tolerated and he (Tenny) will have to resign.
Earlier in the day, MoS lost his temper when a journalist asked him about amending the IPC clauses of SIT against his son. “Ask questions to befukufi kiya karo, dimag kharab hai keya, phone band kar de. Yehin media wal choran ne nirdosh aadmi ko… sharam na ati hai (Don’t ask stupid questions. Are you crazy? These media people, thieves … they are not ashamed), “said the Minister. In the end, he too jumped on a journalist.
On Tuesday, the CJM court in Lakhimpur accepted the SIT’s demand in the Lakhimpur case to add a new IPC clause against Ashish and the other accused when the investigation found that the killing of four farmers in a car crash was a “well-planned conspiracy” and not an accident.
The SIT sought to amend several sections against the accused. Sections that have been extended against defendants include 307 (attempted murder), 326 (voluntary use of a dangerous weapon or serious injury) and 34 (work done by more than one person to advance a common cause). The court also summoned the accused on Tuesday after the SIT applied to the court on Monday for remand of the accused.
The incident caused widespread outrage among farmers and the demand for resignation of the state government has grown louder. As the BJP prepares for the 2022 elections, the incident could exacerbate the mixed problem. Last month, the Supreme Court directed the Special Investigation Team to expedite the investigation. It has added three IPS officers to the team – who are not from Uttar Pradesh, though they have been assigned to the UP cadre. This was done out of concern that local police members would manipulate the investigation.
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