In Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s village Banveerpur, most people are willing to testify that his son Ashish Mishra was present at the wrestling venue on October 3, when a convoy of vehicles owned by his father drove a group of farmers to the ground. crushed. Four of them and a journalist died.
Despite his arrest, Ashish, popularly known as Monu Bhaiya, is confirmed by most of the villagers to his innocence.
For him Ashish, the eldest of his three siblings, remains Ajay Mishra’s political and business heir.
“After Tenzik [Ajay Mishra] became an MP from Lakhimpur Kheri seat, it was Monu Bhaiya who took over his rule in the district. Those who used to come to meet Teniji to sort out their issues started meeting Monu Bhaiya,” says Akash Mittal, 32-year-old Pradhan of Banveerpur.
Ashish also took charge of the daily operations of the family business – a rice mill and two petrol pumps owned by his father.
According to villagers, Ashish handled his father’s political campaign in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “He would always work behind the scenes and organize things. His popularity is unmatched. He is the successor (successor) of Ajay Mishra,” says 31-year-old villager Amar.
“Unme jo baat hai, woh Abhimanyu bhaiyya mein nahi hai. Woh thode seedhe hain (the qualities he possesses is not in his brother Abhimanyu, who is rather simple).”
a Samajwadi Party Leader in Nighasan, from where Ashish is keen to contest the upcoming assembly elections BJP Ticket, says, “His image is not much different from that of his father Ajay.” He refuses to speak more about her. “I have to stay here,” he says.
According to Tikonia police station in-charge Balendu Gautam, two cases were registered against Ashish at the local police station between 2007 and 2009. “They are related to the assault charges,” the police officer says. He declined to provide further details.
According to a villager, Banveerpur is afraid of the Mishra family. “Even after killing four people, no one will say anything against Ashish or any of his family members. Such is his stature in the village,” alleges the 37-year-old farmer.
In Nighasan Block and Banveerpur, Ashish’s political ambitions and presence are evident – and are on the walls to see. “Nighasan Janta ki Pukar, Monu Bhaiya ab ki Baar (People of Nighasan want Monu Bhaiya this time),” says one of the slogans painted on a wall.
A local BJP leader, referring to the Union minister’s former political mentor, said, “He had also sought ticket in the 2017 assembly elections, but the party fielded senior leader Patel Ramkumar Verma.” However, party leaders say that relations between the two leaders have soured over the years.
Nighasan is currently held by Verma’s son Shashank, who won the 2019 by-election on a BJP ticket after the death of his father.
According to a BJP leader living in Lakhimpur Kheri, the farmer’s death has reduced the chances of Ashish getting a party ticket. “This time Monu had a good chance to contest from Nighasan, but let’s see what happens now. Shashank is the sitting MLA. Hence, he is a good alternative to the BJP as well,” he says.
“It is difficult to predict what will happen next, but the October 3 event will certainly affect his prospects. There was a big incident in Tikonia. Poor desh ke baat baat raha hai (the country is talking about what happened in Tikonia),” he says. “The party is under pressure.”
This setback to his political dreams – which has prompted other ticket candidates to jump in the fray in the past few days – is perhaps a challenge Ashish wanted to avoid. Despite his hobby of “wrestling” (wrestling).
Villagers and people close to his family say that Ashish likes challenges when it comes to wrestling. “He does not shy away from taking on a wrestler from the village. The rest have no more hobbies, but do kushti hai (he is fond of wrestling), ”says a local BJP leader close to the Mishra family.
A Science graduate from Lucknow University, Ashish married Rinki Mishra of Bhira town in Lakhimpur Kheri in 2014.
“It was an arranged marriage. Monu Bhaiya’s wife is the sister of BJP leader Achal Mishra. His father Uddhav Shyam Mishra was also associated with the BJP,” says a local BJP leader. The couple has two school going daughters.
While Ashish lived in Banveerpur, his wife and daughters lived in Lakhimpur Kheri town. The village head says that he used to visit her on weekends.