Suspended Gorakhpur paediatrician and rights activist Dr Kafeel Khan was among 19 candidates whose names were announced by the Samajwadi Party on Wednesday for the upcoming elections to the Legislative Council.
Dr Kafeel will be contesting from the Deoria-Kushinagar seat.
Apart from Dr Kafeel, the SP also announced the candidates from 18 other seats — Rajesh Kumar Yadav (Barabanki), Basudev Yadav (Allahabad), Anurag Verma (Kheri), Manoj Kumar (Jaunpur), Santosh Yadav (Basti-Siddharth Nagar), Rajnish Yadav (Gorakhpur-Maharajganj), Shyam Sundar Singh (Jhansi-Jalaun-Lalitpur), Sunil Kumar Singh (Lucknow-Unnao), Mashakoor Ahmad (Rampur-Bareilly), Virendra Shankar Singh (Rae Bareilly), Hira Lal Yadav (Faizabad), Rakesh Kumar Yadav (Azamgarh-Mau), Udayveer Singh (Mathura-Etah-Mainpuri), Amar Yadav (Bahraich), Umesh (Varanasi), Amit Yadav (Pilibhit-Shahjahanpur), and Dileep Singh Yadav (Agra-Firozabad).
Polling for all 36 seats will be held on 9 April and the counting of votes will take place on 12 April.
Meanwhile, Dr Kafeel met SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on Tuesday, and after the meeting, he tweeted: “Met with Honourable Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sir and presented him a copy of The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy.”
‘The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy, A Doctor’s Memoir of a Deadly Medical Crisis’ is a book by Dr. Kafeel who had spent nearly 500 days in prison in the last three years and targeted several times by BJP government.
Doctor Kafeel Khan has been targeted by the saffron party-led government in Uttar Pradesh.
Dr. Khan had hit the headlines after the 2017 tragedy at Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, in which several children died due to a lack of oxygen cylinders. Initially, he was hailed as a savior for arranging emergency oxygen cylinders but later, faced action and was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police. A probe by the Uttar Pradesh government cleared Dr. Khan of all major charges, prompting him to seek an apology from the state. Kafeel Khan had alleged that an institutional failure had led to the deaths of the children.
Dr. Khan was suspended twice ( first time after the BRD oxygen tragedy and the second time on 31 July 2019) by authorities.
In November last year, Khan said his services had been terminated by the UP government after 1500 days of “illegal suspension.”