Lucknow: The fight in Varanasi is now between two ‘chowkidars’. Taking a sharp U-turn, the Samajwadi Party on Monday pulled out its candidate in the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat and fielded a former BSF trooper Tej Bahadur Yadav.
A resident of Rewari in Haryana, Yadav had posted four videos on Facebook in January 2017 complaining about the unpalatable food at his camp along the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir. Yadav had further alleged that the senior officials had illegally sold the food supplies meant for the troopers.
Yadav had also said that he was “mentally tortured” and had expressed apprehension that his seniors may take action against him for exposing the conditions of the soldiers on the border. The videos triggered outrage across the nation, but the BSF dismissed his allegations. He was later sacked after a three-month-long proceeding at a summary court-martial held in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district.
Tej Bahadur Yadav had earlier announced that he will contest as an independent candidate from Varanasi. He had told a newspaper recently: “The government has failed the forces. PM Modi seeks votes in the name of jawans but has done nothing for them.” “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 rhetoric,” the former trooper said after the SP nominated him. He said that the Aam Aadmi Party will support his candidature in the Lok Sabha polls.
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.