Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni refers to farmers as ‘barking dogs’

Comments in as yet unverified video came after a 75-hour-long protest by farmers demanding his sacking and arrest

August 23, 2022 09:32 pm | Updated 11:52 pm IST - Lucknow

 Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni. File.

Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, whose son Ashish Mishra is in jail for allegedly ramming his car over farmers last year in Lakhimpur Kheri, talked about “dogs barking and chasing his [Ashish Mishra] car”, in an apparent reference to farmers demanding his resignation. The Union Minister also allegedly called farmer leader Rakesh Tikait a “ do kaudi ka aadmi” (worthless person) in a controversial speech live-streamed by his supporters.

“If I am travelling to Lucknow in a car, it’s going at a good speed. Dogs bark. They keep on barking on the roadside or chase the car. It’s their nature. I am not going to say anything about it. I am very confident because of your support,” Mr. Teni can be heard saying to his supporters in the controversial video that went viral. The Hindu cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video.

“No matter how many Rakesh Tikaits come, I know that person well — do kaudi ka aadmi hai — he contested two elections and lost his deposit. If such a person protests, I am not interested in responding,” he added.

Mr. Teni’s comments come after a 75-hour-long protest organised by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a forum of farmers’ groups, in Lakhimpur Kheri, demanding the sacking and arrest of the Union Minister. Mr. Tikait was one of the key organisers at the protest.

In the viral video, the Minister also targeted a section of journalists and called them foolish. "Some foolish journalists also try to create confusion but I want to tell them I am not weak," he said.

Opposition leaders targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the remarks allegedly made by Mr. Teni. Priyanka Gandhi, Congress's general secretary and U.P. in-charge tweeted: “The Union Minister is giving one statement after another to humiliate the farmers. How long the Prime Minister would save his tainted ministers? And promote this kind of language?”

Eight people, including four farmers and a journalist, were killed on October 3 last year in Lakhimpur Kheri. It has been alleged that vehicles belonging to the Minister’s convey mowed down farmers who were protesting against U.P. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to the area at the time.

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