Ex-BSF jawan approaches SC over rejection of candidature from Varanasi.
Summary: Says cancellation aimed at giving a "walkover" to Prime Minister Modi
New Delhi: Dismissed Border Security Force (BSF) soldier Tej Bahadur Yadav, whose candidature from Varanasi Parliamentary constituency was earlier cancelled, on Monday moved the apex Supreme Court (SC) stating that the cancellation aimed at giving a "walkover" to Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi.
Modi is contesting the second time from Varanasi as candidate of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In his plea, Yadav described the ECI's decision "discriminatory and unreasonable" and asked the top court to direct the poll panel to allow him to contest from Varanasi.
The Returning Officer (RO) had rejected Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Yadav's nomination papers on May one citing his failure to submit a certificate that he was not sacked for either corruption or disloyalty.
In 2017, Yadav was dismissed from service for indiscipline after he posted a video complaining about the quality of food served to the soldiers posted in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
Yadav's petition, filed by lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, contended that the RO "completely failed to appreciate that he had produced his dismissal letter along with his nomination paper."
According to the petition, the dismissal letter clearly showed that the former soldier was dismissed from service for alleged indiscipline and neither for corruption nor disloyalty to the state.
"It seems the decision was taken keeping in mind the sensitivity of the contest in Varanasi constituency and to give walkover to the candidate of the ruling party by disqualifying the petitioner whose candidature was gaining momentum and was therefore also supported by the main opposition alliance of two major political parties in the state. The mala fide is apparent," the petition read.
Varanasi District Magistrate Surendra Singh, however, said Yadav's nomination was cancelled after a discrepancy over his dismissal was found in two nominations he filed, first as an Independent and then as SP candidate.
"Taj Bahadur Yadav was given a chance till 11am on May one to clarify and provide the necessary certificate issued by Election Commission that he had not been dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the state. But he failed to do so," Singh told Gulf News.
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