New Delhi: Tej Bahadur Yadav, the dismissed Border Security Force (BSF) jawan, moved the Supreme Court on Monday challenging rejection of his nomination papers by the Election Commission to contest Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi.
Yadav alleged he was deliberately kept out of the contest to ensure an easy win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi.
Yadav, in the petition, contended that the Returning Officer “completely failed to appreciate that he had produced the dismissal letter along with his nomination paper.”
The dismissal letter indicated the reason for his dismissal from the BSF as alleged indiscipline and there was no evidence of indulging in corruption or any act of disloyalty to the state, the petitioner said.
Yadav has sought the apex court’s direction to set aside the Returning Officer’s May 1 order and that he be allowed to contest the election from Varanasi.
The candidature of Yadav, supported by the Samajwadi Party, was rejected by the Returning Officer on finding fault with nomination papers. Yadav’s nomination was rejected as he could not bring on record that his dismissal was not on corruption charges or due to any integrity issues.
“It seems the decision was taken keeping in mind the sensitivity of the contest in Varanasi and to give walkover to the candidate (Modi) of the ruling party (BJP) by disqualifying the petitioner,” the petitioner contended.
Yadav claimed he was a strong candidate against the prime minister and his popularity was “gaining momentum”, and added that’s why he was supported by the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party combine.
Stating that “the mala fide is apparent,” Yadav alleged the Returning Officer had shown haste in deciding on his candidature. The poll official could have at least allowed the Election Commission to respond to his application, he said.
Yadav had posted videos on social media in January 2017 complaining about substandard food being served at his BSF camp along the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir. He was later dismissed from the force.
He had filed his nomination as independent but was later accepted by the Samajwadi Party as candidate from Varanasi.