It is one fight which Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not have wished. For all his nationalist speeches and jawan-first approach, this could be a bitter pill. The Samajwadi Party (SP), on Monday (April 29), nominated former Border Security Force (BSF) constable Tej Bahadur Yadav, who was dismissed after he complained about the quality of food, as its candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi.
The SP, which is in an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal, had earlier declared Shalini Yadav as its candidate from Varanasi, while the Congress had renominated Ajai Rai. “I was sacked for raising the issue of corruption. My sole objective will be to strengthen and eliminate corruption in the forces,” Yadav told reporters when asked about the SP decision to field him.
Yadav will be challenging Modi in Varanasi constituency of Uttar Pradesh, an SP leader said. The former BSF soldier had uploaded a video on social media in 2017, complaining that poor quality food was being served to the troops in the icy, mountainous region along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. He was later dismissed on the charge of indiscipline.
Kejriwal lauds Akhilesh
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday lauded SP president Akhilesh Yadav for fielding Tej Bahadur Yadav. Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi, “On one hand there is a person who risked his life for the country and lost his job to fight for the rights of jawans, while on the other hand there is this person who fired a jawan who raised his voice and asks votes over martyred soldiers.”
(With inputs from agencies)