New Delhi: With an eye on 2019 Lok Sabha, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has started a ‘Sampark for Samarthan’ of his own by reaching out to different individuals in Uttar Pradesh (UP). Gandhi has written letters “extending his support” to Dr. Khafeel Khan –the suspended BRD Medical College doctor, V M Singh – a farmer leader, and a Sunil of Ghazipur who is protesting the government’s acquisition of land for Varanasi-Gorakhpur highway, said the Indian Express.
He wrote a letter to Khafeel expressing concern over the law and order situation in UP. Gandhi demanded a probe into the case, as per Congress spokesperson Amarnath Agarwal, reported PTI.
On Sunday, Dr Kafeel Khan’s brother Kashif Jameel, 34, was shot at by two unidentified bike-borne miscreants in UP’s Gorakhpur. He sustained bullet wounds on arm, neck and chin. A police probe is underway. Dr Kafeel put the onus on the state government (for the attack). “We always knew they would try to kill us,” he told the Times of India earlier.
Kafeel was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on April 25, 2018, after being lodged in the Gorakhpur jail since September 2, 2017, following the death of 72 children at the Gorakhpur BRD Medical College Hospital. It was alleged that the deaths occurred due to a shortage of oxygen. The incident caused much embarrassment to the UP government accused Kafeel of stealing oxygen cylinders from BRD Medical College and charged with culpable homicide.
In the letter to Sunil of Ghazipur, Gandhi criticised the “lack of transparency” in the land acquisition for the “Varanasi-Gorakhpur” four-lane highway. He expressed solidarity with the farmers representing “Krishi Bhoomi Bachao Morcha” of Ghazipur. In the letter, he offered help from Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee.
Congress spokesperson Virendra Madan told the Indian Express, “Rahul Gandhi ji has written to Dr Khan, V M Singh as well as Sunil to extend his support to their movements and their fight against injustice. He has always been concerned over the issues affecting farmers across the country, be it Bhatta Parsaul or Land Acquisition Bill, and has always actively participated in raising them as well. He is personally writing to these individuals to re-assure Congress party’s support to them in their struggle.”