Sugar Mills Drop Union Minister Ajay Mishra from Inauguration Events After Rakesh Tikait’s Warning

Two sugar mills in Lakhimpur Kheri, which had invited Union minister Ajay Mishra to inaugurate sugarcane crushing season, made changes to their programme on Tuesday apparently after farmer leader Rakesh Tikait’s warning that farmers would keep away from the mills if the MoS attended the function. Mishra, the Minister of State (MoS) for Home and an MP from Kheri, is in the eye of the storm over the killing of four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.

His son Ashish Misra is in jail in connection with the knocking down of the farmers when they were protesting against the visit of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to Ajay Mishra’s native place on October 3. Meanwhile, the sugar mills have invited District Magistrate Mahendra Bahadur to inaugurate their events.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Kisan Sahkari Chini Mills Ltd, Sampurna Nagar in Lakhimpur Kheri said, ”The sugarcane crushing session of Kisan Sahakari Chini Mills Ltd, Sampurn Nagar in Lakhimpur Kheri will start on November 24 (Wednesday) by District Magistrate Mahendra Bahadur Singh at 11.00 am.” Similar statement was issued by Sarju Sahkari Chini Mill Ltd, Belrayan Kheri. While addressing the ”Kisan Mahapanchayat” in Lucknow on Monday, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Tikait had said, ”If Teni (Ajay Mishra) comes to inaugurate the sugar mill, then no sugarcane will be taken to that sugar mill.

”Rather, the farmers will take the sugarcane to the office of the district magistrate, no matter how much losses they incur,” he had said. Removal of Mishra from the Union cabinet is among the six demands put forth by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions, to the government for ending the stir after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Friday announced that the government will repeal the three contentious farm laws.

Meanwhile, sources close to minister said he had some other engagements and would not be able to attend the events at the two mills on November 24. Mishra did not figure in the official photograph issued after the conclusion of the DGP/IGP conference in Lucknow on Sunday which was attended by Modi.

Earlier, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had written a letter to the prime minister urging him not to share the dais with Mishra at the DGPs conference.

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