The Samajwadi Party on Monday changed its candidate from Varanasi, giving the ticket to sacked BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Singh. In a surprising move, Singh, who was dismissed for indiscipline, will be battling it out with PM Modi for the prestigious seat of Varanasi. Singh had grabbed headlines by posting a video online complaining about the food quality served to BSF jawans.
SP changes candidate from Varanasi LS Constituency; gives ticket to Tej Bahadur Yadav (BSF constable who was dismissed from service after he had released video last year on quality of food served to soldiers). Earlier, SP’s Shalini Yadav had filed her nomination from Varanasi. pic.twitter.com/OihDeRt6bh
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 29, 2019
Earlier, Shalini Yadav, who had unsuccessfully contested the 2017 Mayoral elections in Varanasi was declared as the Mahagathbandhan candidate from the constituency. Shalini Yadav is the daughter-in-law of Shyam Lal Yadav, a former Congress Rajya Sabha member.
The move comes on the heels of the Congress party’s declaration of Ajay Rai’s candidature for the Varanasi seat. In 2014, Ajay Rai came third on the seat behind Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal by securing 75000 votes. Belonging to Bhumihar caste, Ajay Rai holds considerable heft in the eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Tej Bahadur Yadav was dismissed from the BSF by a Summary Security Force Court in July 2018. The charges against him included making spurious allegations on social media and carrying two mobile phones while on operational duty. Though he contested the dismissal in court, his videos drew constant flak from the Armed Forces, prompting the jawan to request PM Modi’s intervention in the matter. Several reports suggested that Yadav was preparing to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi constituency against the PM.