News Frontliner Web Desk, 30 April 2019: Springing a last-minute surprise, the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Monday replaced its Varanasi Lok Sabha candidate by giving ticket to the sacked BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav. Tej Bahadur has already filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate but will now be contesting on the SP symbol and has joined SP as well.
Tej Bahadur was dismissed from service for indiscipline in 2017 after he posted a video complaining about the quality of food served to the troops in the region along the LoC (Line of Control) in Jammu and Kashmir; the video went viral in social media and created a furore.
After Samajwadi Party announced the masterstroke, party spokesperson and MLC Udaiveer Singh explaining the change said, “We fielded a jawan, who put his life in the line of fire to defend our borders. He was sacked because he dared to complain about the poor quality of food served to jawans fighting for the country. We support him in his fight against the same powers.”
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP party chief Arvind Kejriwal lauded Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav for fielding Tej Bahadur Yadav against PM Modi from Varanasi.
Lauding the SP chief, Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi, “On one hand there is a person who risked his life for the country and lost his job to fight for the rights of jawans, while on the other hand there is this person who fired a jawan who raised his voice and asks votes over martyred soldiers.”
Varanasi will go to polls in the seventh phase on May 19 and the last date for filing nomination is Monday April 29.
Earlier in March this year, Tej Bahadur had first expressed his interest to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi. “I had raised the issue of corruption but I was sacked. My first objective will be to strengthen and eliminate corruption in the forces,” he said.