LUCKNOW: In a surprise development, the Samajwadi Party on Monday changed its candidate in the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat and fielded ex-BSF trooper Tej Bahadur Yadav against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Samajwadi Party announced the candidature of Tej Bahadur Yadav, a resident of Harayana's Rewari, who was dismissed from service after he complained about poor quality of food served to the personnel.
Tej Bahadur Yadav told IANS: "Today I filed the nomination papers from Varanasi as Samajwadi Party candidate."
He said that the fight in the Varanasi is now between "a real watchman and a fake watchman".
"Earlier the party has fielded Shalini Yadav but then Akhileshji (SP chief Akhilesh Yadav) gave a thought about whom to field against the fake chowkidaar (watchman).
"The people now have to choose between a real watchman and a fake watchman. Even Akhileshji said that we are standing with the real watchman and not with a person who only believes in rhethoric," the ex-Border Security Force (BSF) trooper said.
He said that the Aam Aadmi Party will support his candidature in the Lok Sabha polls.
Tej Bahadur Yadav had earlier announced that he will contest as an independent candidate from Varanasi.
The BSF constable was dismissed in 2017 after he posted a video on Facebook complaining about the poor quality of food provided to the security personnel.
Attacking the Modi government, he said: "I was dismissed because I spoke the truth. The parliamentary committee, with Murli Manohar Joshi as its member, submitted the report in Parliament in my favour. Despite that, I was dismissed."
Varanasi goes to polls on May 19 in the final phase of the seven-stage general elections.