A jailed former Congress MLA has managed to organise a press conference where he announced he would join Samajwadi Party to boost its Lok Sabha poll prospects. Was the police complicit in his act? It appears so.
Dileep Verma, an undertrial lodged at Bahraich district jail since 2005 on charges of beating up a dalit constable, complained of chest pain on February 11.
He was referred by jail doctors to Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow. In what appears to be a plan, SP leaders met him in his ward.
Doctors declared him fit for discharge on Friday. But instead of taking him to the jail, the police took him to the district hospital, where a press conference was hurriedly organised.
Verma announced joining SP in presence of senior SP leaders, including district president Ratej Yadav and Lok Sabha candidate from Bahraich Shabbir Valmiki. Verma's supporters distributed sweets among patients and attendants.
Jail officials, when contacted, while admitting Verma violated prison rules, refused to answer whether any action would be taken against him.
The three-time MLA, Verma can influence Kurmi community vote-bank. His wife Madhuri Verma is sitting Congress MLA from Nanpara assembly seat.