Samajwadi Party Lok Sabha candidate and former BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav on Wednesday, May 1, alleged that the BJP was creating "roadblocks" in his nomination process to "prevent" him from contesting elections against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi.
Yadav's fate on fighting the polls from this temple town currently hangs in balance as the district election officer has served him notices pointing "discrepancies" in the two nominations filed by him. As reported by NDTV, the Election Commission on Tuesday had issued a notice to Tej Bahadur, saying that government employees who have been dismissed for “corruption or disloyalty to the state” shall be disqualified from campaigning for a period five years.
"I had filed my first nomination as an Independent candidate on April 24 and on SP party symbol on April 29. If there were any issues with the nominations, why wasn't I informed earlier? Despite lack of time, our legal team is furnishing all details to the RO (returning officer)," he said.
Also Read: BSF Soldier Tej Bahadur Dismissed
There was no immediate response from the BJP on the allegation levelled by Yadav, who was dismissed from the BSF after he complained about poor quality food being served to soldiers in a video, which went viral. The 43-year-old SP nominee, who is currently awaiting his fate in this elections, was surrounded by his supporters at the District Collectorate.
"We were asked to reply by 11 AM today. My counsel has given all the answers and correspondences with the Election Commission (EC) to the RO's office. An NOC (no-objection certificate) is needed from the BSF, as to on what grounds I was dismissed," Yadav, who was wearing a camouflage T-shirt, said. "I am being stopped from fighting elections as the 'nakli chowkidar (fake watchman)' of the country is afraid of the 'asli (real) chowkidar'," he alleged.
Modi refers to himself as the 'chowkidar' (watchman) of the nation.
Terming the EC’s decision as illegal, prominent lawyer Prashant Bhushan tweeted,
EC asks BSF Jawan pitted against Modi, how he can contest since he has been dismissed from service(complaining about poor food for Jawans)! Totally illegal,as there's no bar under law barring dismissed people from contesting. Shows Modi is scared of Jawan! https://t.co/urUEtdL2eN
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) May 1, 2019
Uttar Pradesh SP spokesperson Manoj Rai Dhupchandi alleged that Yadav was being "targeted" as he represented the aspirations and angst of farmers and jawans, and claimed the BJP got "afraid" of him as he is getting support from the people in Varanasi. "Our supporters are also present outside the EC office in Delhi. We will continue to fight for justice," he said.
Read More: Elections 2019: ‘Asli Chowkidar’ is SP’s New Candidate to Take on Modi in Varanasi