SP chief says BJP afraid of former BSF jawan
By  Shimon Chadha | Updated:  May 02, 2019, 05:13 PM
After Samajwadi Party candidate Tej Bahadur Yadav was rejected by the Election Commission for submitting wrong information in his nomination papers, Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, in an interview, accused the BJP of being “afraid” of contesting against Tej Bahadur as he might ask “tough questions”, such as “what is more important- bullet train or bulletproof jacket”.
Former Border Security Force jawan, Tej Bahadur Yadav, who had grabbed eyeballs two years ago with his videos criticising the quality of food provided to the defence forces, and the dire conditions they were forced to live in, and was consequently fired for making false claims, was fielded as the Samajwadi Party candidate in the constituency of Varanasi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The SP supremo said that the “if the BJP is so patriotic”, and can “ask for a vote in the name of nationalism”, it should have the courage to “face a soldier in polls”.
The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister took the side of the former BSF jawan, and said that his only fault had been to question the quality of food, for which the present government punished him by firing him from his job. Yadav said that Tej Bahadur had asked a very “small question”, and the citizens of Varanasi “will not tolerate” the behaviour of the BJP.
He further added that the saffron party had won by such a huge margin in the 16th Lok Sabha elections as the people were promised job opportunities, and development of the country, but sadly, “nothing happened”, and the PM is “doing politics in the name of pakora”.
When asked about the SP candidate from Varanasi, Akhilesh said that it might be Shalini Yadav, but the “final decision will be taken later”. Shalini, who is the daughter-in-law of former Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, and Congress veteran, late Shyam Lal Yadav, had lost the Varanasi mayoral election in 2017.
The Congress, after much speculation and rumours of fielding Uttar Pradesh East General Secretary and sister of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, finally announced its decision last week to field 5-time MLA Ajay Rai, who had lost by a margin of 5 lakh votes to Modi in the 2014 elections.
Varanasi will go to polls in the last and the seventh phase of the ongoing 17th Lok Sabha elections. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
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