The Election Commission on Tuesday issued a notice to sacked Border Security Force jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav, saying that government employees who have been dismissed for “corruption or disloyalty to the state” shall be disqualified from campaigning for five years, NDTV reported. Yadav is the Samajwadi Party’s candidate from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.
When he filed his nomination, Yadav had admitted that he was dismissed from service. However, later, he omitted this from his nomination form. The Election Commission ordered the former soldier to produce a no-objection certificate from the BSF and file his response by 11 am on May 1, News18 reported.
Yadav, however, claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi was responsible for the notice. “When I filed my documents on April 24, and also yesterday, there was no problem,” Yadav told The Quint.
Modi is the sitting MP in Varanasi and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate from there.
Yadav alleged that the poll observer had put pressure on the returning officer by interfering in the filing of his nomination on Monday. “He took the returning officer outside and put pressure on him to issue a notice,” Yadav said. “From this is it clear that I am being stopped from filing my nomination. Modi is afraid that a real chowkidar will defeat him.”
Yadav claimed Modi wanted to prevent him from filing the nomination at a time when the entire country and the whole Opposition was backing him. “We are trying our best, our supporters, the party is part of the effort, but the other side is also making full effort to stop it,” he alleged. The former BSF jawan said the poll panel had clearly acted on Modi’s instructions in sending him a notice.
The Samajwadi Party had earlier named Shalini Yadav as its candidate for the Varanasi seat.
Tej Bahadur Yadav was sacked from service after he posted a video on social media in January 2017 about the watery dal and burnt rotis served to soldiers. The video was viewed more than 70 lakh times, prompting the Prime Minister’s Office to ask for a report. Yadav was dismissed after a court of inquiry found him guilty on charges of indiscipline for going public with his grievances. In January 2018, Yadav’s son was found dead at his family home in Haryana.
Modi had contested and won from Varanasi during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, securing 5.81 lakh votes. Ajay Rai is the Congress candidate from Varanasi.
Polling in the constituency is scheduled for May 19. The results will be announced on May 23.