The nomination of SP candidate Tej Bahadur Yadav from Varanasi has been cancelled by the Election Commission, as per reports. His nomination was found ineligible under section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Former BSF constable Tej Bahadur was fielded as the mahagathbandhan candidate to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi, from where Modi had won by a huge margin in 2014. Tej Bahadur had grabbed national headlines in 2017 after he had posted few videos on social media alleging poor quality food served at his Jammu and Kashmir camp. He had alleged that senior officers were selling the ration provided to the camp in the market, and the soldiers were being served poor quality.
The Home ministry and PMO had ordered a detailed probe into the matter, and it was found that Tej Bahadur was making false allegations. Posting videos on social media instead of raising grievances on proper channels was also found to be a violation of rules. Moreover, he had a history of bad behaviour in the force, and he was jailed four times in the past for misbehaving with seniors and abusing and threatening them. After the conclusion of the enquiry, he was dismissed from service in April 2017.
SP had fielded Tej Bahadur from Varanasi replacing their original choice Shalini Yadav, but yesterday the returning officer had issued him a notice regarding his dismissal from BSF. He was asked to furnish a certificate from Election Commission certifying that he was not dismissed from the service for corruption or disloyalty to the government, as required under rules for candidates who are former government employees.
He was asked to submit the certificate by 11 AM today. The notice said that as per section 9 of the RP act, the candidature will be disqualified if a candidate was dismissed for corruption or disloyalty. The section reads:
- Disqualification for dismissal for corruption or disloyalty—
(1) A person who having held an office under the Government of India or under the Government of any State has been dismissed for corruption or for disloyalty to the State shall be disqualified for a period of five years from the date of such dismissal.
(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), a certificate issued by the Election Commission to the effect that a person having held office under the Government of India or under the Government of a State, has or has not been dismissed for corruption or for disloyalty to the State shall be conclusive proof of that fact: Provided that no certificate to the effect that a person has been dismissed for corruption or for disloyalty to the State shall be issued unless an opportunity of being heard has been given to the said person.
As Tej Bahadur was dismissed in 2017, his candidature was found to be invalid by the Returning Officer as per section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.