LUCKNOW: The Election Commission of India (ECI) cancelled the nomination of Samajwadi Party’s candidate Tej Bahadur Yadav, the dismissed jawan of 29th battalion of BSF, from Varanasi on Wednesday.
Reacting to the cancellation, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav hit out at the ruling party asking it to have the courage to face a soldier. “When they are asking for votes in the name of nationalism, they should have faced a soldier. People who dismissed him from his job because he complained about food, how can those people be called real patriots?” the SP chief said.
Tej Bahadur said, “My nomination has been rejected wrongly. BJP wanted to prevent me from fighting against Modi in Varanasi. I was asked to produce the evidence at 6.15 pm on Tuesday, we produced the evidence, and still my nomination was rejected. We will go to the Apex court in this regard now.”
On Tuesday, the ECI had served a notice to Tej Bahadur directing him to procure an NOC from the BSF and clarify the cause of his dismissal by 11 am on Wednesday.
The reason was a discrepancy between the two sets of nomination papers he filed first as an independent candidate and second as the SP candidate pitted in a high stake electoral battle against Prime Minister
Tej Bahadur had omitted details of his dismissal in the second set. Tej went public with his allegations of sub-standard food in the BSF, and was dismissed in April 2017. The reason cited was indiscipline.
Varanasi district magistrate and Returning Officer Surendra Singh said, “A person who has been dismissed from service from state or central government within the last five years has to obtain a certificate from the EC stating he/she hasn’t been dismissed due to disloyalty or corruption. That certificate wasn’t produced before 11 am, so, his nomination has been rejected.”
“I am being stopped from fighting elections as the ‘nakli chowkidar (fake watchman)’ of the country is afraid of the ‘asli (real) chowkidar’,” alleged Tej Bahadur. Meanwhile, the SP declared Shalini Yadav as its candidate to take on the PM in Varanasi.