Pawan Kashyap, brother of journalist Raman Kashyap who was killed in the October 3 violence, has joined the Congress and is likely to contest the elections.
Pawan joined the Congress in the presence of senior party members Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Satish Ajmani.
Raman was allegedly mowed down by the convoy of Union Minister Ajay Misra Teni’s son Ashish Misra while he was covering a farmers’ agitation in the Tikunia area in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3, last year.
Pawan is likely to contest the Assembly polls on a Congress ticket from the Nighasan constituency.
Pawan told reporters that he was hopeful that farmers and others would vote for him in the memory of his dead brother.
“We are victims of violence and persecution, and there are many people like us who have lost their loved ones in a similar way. I can feel their pain. If I win, I will focus on law and order and find ways to control violence in the state. I am also a farmer, so I can empathise with them. I will work towards improving their condition,” he stated.
He said that the Congress leaders asked him if he wanted to contest the Nighasan seat and he has given his consent.
It may be recalled that days after the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, a video had gone viral in which Raman can be seen doing his job as a journalist when suddenly a speeding vehicle runs over him along with several farmers. Four farmers were killed along with Raman that day.
The main accused in the case Ashish Misra and 12 others are now in jail for what a special investigation team probing the case said was a ‘pre-planned conspiracy’.
Nighasan is an OBC-dominated constituency where Shashank Verma of the BJP is the sitting MLA.
Ajay Misra Teni was trying hard to get a party ticket for Ashish and there were posters and banners of him everywhere in Nighasan.
Ashish was considered a strong contender for the seat until the Lakhimpur Kheri violence happened.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had recently promised to field those candidates who have been victims of violence in the BJP regime and are ‘ready to struggle for justice’.
The Congress has named Asha Singh, the mother of rape victim in Unnao, as its candidate.
Ritu Singh, who was allegedly disrobed during the panchayat elections, is the Congress candidate from Mohammadi, and Poonam Pandey, who was beaten with shoes in front of the chief minister, is the party candidate in Shahjahanpur.
Sadaf Jafar, who was jailed for participating in anti-CAA protests, is the Congress candidate in Lucknow.