When dismissed BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav had announced to fight elections against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat last month, the gossiping began in the country that now hollow nationalism would be exposed. However, the fight between Jawan vs ended before it actually started. The opposition leaders have lashed out at PM Modi for this. It is being said that the rejection of his nomination papers is like a murder in womb.
District election officer of Varanasi, Surendra Singh said that Tej Bahadur is disqualified because he was dismissed by BSF in 2017. It is remarkable that a government employee dismissed from services within the last five years needs to produce a certificate from the Election Commission of India to certify that dismissal was not due to disloyalty to the country or corruption. He had not furnished this certificate while filing his nomination papers. Tej Bahadur Yadav had triggered controversy by uploading video in which he alleged poor quality food was being served to jawans. Former Border Security Force personal Tej Bahadur had filed nomination as an independent, but was later named by the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance as a candidate from the seat where the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking re-election.
Maharashtra AAP president Brigadier Sudhir Sawant said, “Tej Bahadur Yadav has rightfully pointed out the corruption prevailing in the army. Many army personnel have contested election but they were not asked to submit any certificate! Why was Tej Bahadur asked to submit certificate? Every Indian citizen has a right to contest election unless criminal charges have been proved against him/her. No criminal charges have been proved against Tej Bahadur. He was going to give a tough fight to PM Modi; hence, his nomination has been rejected.”
Earlier, the Samajwadi Party had announced Shalini Yadav as the Mahagathbandhan candidate from Varanasi. She also filed her nomination on Monday. Shalini Yadav was the Samajwadi Party’s first choice to contest the Varanasi seat against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She made a comeback in the poll race after the election officer rejected the nomination papers of Tej Bahadur Yadav.
Rashtriya Lok Dal MP Begum Tabassum Hasan said, “The Election Commission is working at the behest of the Modi government. It was a right step taken by a jawan to contest election but his nomination has been rejected. If Tej Bahadur had contested election, he could have defeated Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
On the other hand, Tej Bahadur Yadav said that his nomination has been rejected wrongly and he would go to the Supreme Court. The Samajwadi Party, which fielded him, said that the BJP should have faced a soldier, since they are seeking votes in the name of nationalism. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said that when they are asking for votes in the name of nationalism, they should have faced a soldier. The people who dismissed him from his job because he complained about food, how can they be called real patriots?
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi got former Border Security Force (BSF) jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav’s nomination cancelled as he was afraid to contest against him from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. “There will be fewer occasions in history when the jawans of a country are compelled to challenge their PM, but this is the first time in history that a PM has been so afraid of a jawan that instead of competing with him, he got his nomination cancelled on technical grounds. “Modi ji, you are very weak and the country’s jawan won,” Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
On the other hand, BJP MP Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said, “The opposition doesn’t have any agenda and hence, they are raising Tej Bahadur Yadav’s issue. The Election Commission has rejected Tej Bahadur’s nomination and not the Modi government. A candidate has to submit his nomination to the Election Commission. If Tej Bahadur had contested election, there was no chance that he would have defeated PM Modi.”
At the same time when Tej Bahadur’s nomination got rejected, it seems ironical that 22.54 per cent of LS poll candidates have mentioned to have criminal records. It’s no new that the political parties don’t shy away from fielding candidates with criminal charges. The number of candidates with criminal charges contesting elections in a democratic country suggests that the crime wave is to stay in the Indian politics. The number of candidates who have disclosed criminal cases against them in five phases of elections add up to 1,370 of total 6,079 contestants. It means that 22.54 per cent candidates are tainted and have criminal records.
Congress spokesperson Akhilesh Singh said, “The Modi government is controlling all institutions including the Election Commission. However no action is being taken against him.”