In Uttar Pradesh, Kafeel Khan becomes hot property for political parties

After release from jail, Dr Kafeel Khan, instead of going to his home town Gorakhpur, went to Congress-ruled Rajasthan in what is seen as an indication about his bond with the party.
Dr Kafeel Khan at the Pink City Press Club in Jaipur on Thursday.(Himanshu Vyas/HT PHOTO)
Dr Kafeel Khan at the Pink City Press Club in Jaipur on Thursday.(Himanshu Vyas/HT PHOTO)
Published on Sep 04, 2020 12:59 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Lucknow | ByHT Correspondent

Political parties in Uttar Pradesh seem keen to rope in Dr Kafeel Khan into their fold, even though the doctor has only shown his bonding with some parties but not given any clear indication about his political leaning yet.

On Thursday, a day after his release from Mathura jail on the order of the Allahabad high court, Kafeel thanked Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi for contacting him to find out about his well-being and that of his family members.

“During the tough time Priyanka supported me,” he said on Twitter.

After release from jail, Kafeel, instead of going to his home town Gorakhpur, went to Congress-ruled Rajasthan – an indication about his bond with the party.

Former Congress legislature party leader Pradeep Mathur, who was present at the jail gate when Kafeel was released, said, “On the direction of senior party leaders, I was in regular contact with district administrations of Mathura and Aligarh to complete formalities for the release of Kafeel. I escorted him to the Rajasthan border as well.”

When asked about Kafeel joining Congress, Mathur said “Priyanka had raised her voice in his support for the sake of humanity and to oppose the atrocities committed by the Yogi government on innocent people in Uttar Pradesh. It’s for Kafeel to decide if he wishes to work for Congress.”

The doctor has already announced that he will visit Bihar, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to organize a health camp in the flood-hit areas, Mathur said.

Another Congress leader, who did not want to be named, said Kafeel has potential to become the Muslim face of the party in the crucial 2022 UP assembly election, for which the party is working to regain the lost ground.

“He has a large support among his community members in Uttar Pradesh as well as in other states,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who has launched a political party -- Azad Samaj Party (ASP) – also welcomed Kafeel’s release. Hitting out at the state government, Chandrashekhar said the high court has vindicated Kafeel’s fight for the weaker sections of society.

During a Facebook live programme on Wednesday, Kafeel concluded his speech with ‘Jai Bhim’ and ‘Jai Mulnivasi, indicating his bond with the Bhim Army too that is working to spread its base in UP. Azad has already announced that ASP will contest the 2022 assembly election. A Bhim Army leader said when Kafeel was in jail, Azad not only supported him but also attacked the BJP government for slapping NSA against him, he said.

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav, in a tweet welcoming the release of Kafeel, said “all justice-loving people have welcomed the release happily and hope that soon Azam Khan (Samajwadi Party MP), too, would get justice. Injustice and atrocities by those who rule doesn’t last forever.”

A BSP leader, who did not wished to be named, said party chief Mayawati has already called for Dalit-Muslim-Backward-Brahmin unity to defeat the BJP in the 2022 assembly election. The party has rallied in support of Kafeel after he was arrested following the oxygen tragedy in BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur in which about 70 children had died.

“To hide its failure, the state government was committing atrocities on Dr Kafeel,” the BSP leader said.

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Monday, November 29, 2021