mishra: Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni stays away from the spotlight

Facing heat over his son’s role in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, minister of state (MoS) Ajay Mishra Teni has kept a low profile since October and has not appeared in public meetings held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections. The violence erupted after a vehicle, reportedly belonging to Mishra’s son, ran over protesting farmers, resulted in the death of four farmers and a journalist.

His son, Ashish, was arrested and chargsheeted by the Uttar Pradesh STF for “planned conspiracy”. When contacted, Mishra did not comment. An MP from Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, Mishra was inducted into the Union cabinet and made Union home minister Amit Shah’s deputy in July 2019.

Opposition parties, led by the Congress, have been demanding Mishra’s resignation and carried out a protest march during the recently-concluded winter session of Parliament.

Due to his son’s involvement, the junior minister was not fielded by the government to reply to MPs’ questions in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha during the Parliament session.

The 61-year-old MP has remained conspicuous by his absence at official meetings chaired by PM Modi. The MoS, however, has been attending official functions sans media and in November last year addressed a United National General Assembly (UNGA) high-level meeting on the appraisal of the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

However, due to mounting pressure at home, the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) had to withdraw a media invite in October 2021 on a national prisons’ meet where Mishra was the chief guest. Following the violence at Lakhimpur, his activity on Twitter, too, been limited. Regarding his official work at North Block, Mishra tweeted that he held review meeting with joint secretaries of the freedom fighters’ division and administrations.

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