The grand-alliance of opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh surprised everyone by replacing its candidate from Varanasi, the VIP Lok Sabha constituency where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is contesting. The Samajwadi Party Monday replaced its candidate, Shalini Yadav. The SP has given the ticket to Tej Bahadur Yadav, a former BSF jawan who was dismissed from service in 2017.
Yadav has already filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate but will now be contesting on the SP symbol. Earlier, SP’s Shalini Yadav had filed her nomination from Varanasi.
Earlier in March, Tej Bahadur had first expressed his interest to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi.
In 2017, a video featuring Tej Bahadur in army fatigue went viral after he alleged that poor quality food was being served to security forces serving at the border. He was then serving as a BSF constable of 29 Battalion at Mandi Mandir headquarters and was posted at the administration base in Khet near Line of Control in Poonch district.
The jawan was dismissed from service by the Summary Security Force Court at Samba after he was found guilty of violating the SOP (standard operating procedure). The charges against him included carrying two mobile phones while on active duty and posting his photographs in uniform on social media.
Varanasi will go to polls in the seventh phase on May 19 and the last date for filing nomination is Monday (April 29).
Vote share in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections:
Narendra Modi – BJP – 5,81,023
Aravind Kejriwal – AAP – 2,09,238
Ajai Rai- Congress- 75,614
Vijay Prkash Jaiswal- BSP- 60,579
Kailash Chowrsiya- SP- 45,291