BJP turns Lakhimpur Kheri into new Hindutva battleground to counter farmers’ protests in Uttar Pradesh – By Divya Trivedi
Lakhimpur Kheri, located in the Terai region of eastern Uttar Pradesh near the Nepal border, has turned into a fresh battleground for Hindutva politics ahead of the election to the State Assembly slated for early next year.
The district with a predominant population of post-Partition migrant Sikhs, most of them farmers, is known as ‘Mini Punjab’. The farmers’ protest against the three Central farm laws, which started almost a year ago, was largely concentrated in western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
In recent months, however, the agitation spread to this part of the State. This irked some local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who saw the agitation as a threat to their election campaign. On October 3, this resentment took an ugly turn in the district. In a single afternoon, many tragedies befell the farming community. While old differences between Sikhs and upper-caste Hindus developed into communal violence, the farmers movement involving Sikh and non-Sikh participants took a decisive turn….