In a major development, the Samajwadi Party has changed its candidate in the Varanasi Lok Sabha seats and has pitted sacked BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Akhilesh Yadav-led party has earlier fielded Shalini Yadav. The candidature of Tej Bahadur Yadav as the mahagathbandhan candidate was announced on Monday.
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
The BSF constable was sacked in 2017 after he posted a video of him complaining about the food served to the forces. Reportedly, he has challenged his dismissal in the court and the case is in the trial stage.
In March, Tej Bahadur had announced that he will be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from the Varanasi against PM Modi.
Tej Bahadur Yadav is a resident of Rewari in Haryana, has also claimed that he was approached by several parties to join them. “My motive is not to win or lose. It is to highlight how this government has failed the forces, especially paramilitary forces. PM Modi seeks votes in the name of our jawans but has done nothing for them. Our paramilitary jawans (CRPF men) killed recently in Pulwama were not even given martyr status by this government,” he had said last month.
Congress has fielded Ajay Rai against PM Modi, although it was speculated that Priyanka Gandhi might take on him. Varanasi constituency will see voting on May 19.