In a huge setback to the grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission on Wednesday rejected the nomination of former BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav who was fielded as the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi.
Yadav said that he will approach the Supreme Court over the dismissal of his nomination.
“My nomination has been rejected wrongly. I was asked to produce the evidence at 6.15 pm yesterday. We produced the evidence, still, my nomination was rejected. We will go to the Supreme Court,” he told media persons.
Yadav said he was told that he had not produced the evidence that was asked from him before 11 am today.
“We were asked to reply by 11 a.m. today. My counsel has given all the answers, correspondences with the Election Commission (EC) to the RO’s office. A NOC (no-objection certificate) is needed from the BSF, as to on what grounds I was dismissed,” Yadav said.
“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,” he further 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.
Earlier in the day, Yadav alleged that the BJP was creating “roadblocks” in his nomination process to “prevent” him from contesting elections against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi.
There was no immediate response from the BJP on the allegation levelled by Yadav.
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.
The Samajwadi Party had fielded Yadav from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi after dropping Shalini Yadav, who had earlier filed her nomination from the seat.
Yadav, a constable in the 29th battalion, had posted several videos on social networking platform Facebook showing visuals of poor quality of food provided to BSF soldiers on the Indo-Pakistan border. He had alleged that BSF officers syphon off food supplies provided by the government.
Later he was dismissed from service and an NIA probe was initiated against him for possible “connection with foreign contacts”.
Varanasi is going to the polls in the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 19. Results will be declared on May 23.