Samajwadi Party (SP) on Monday replaced its Varanasi Lok Sabha candidate Shalini Yadav with former BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav, who will face Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the fray.
“Brave soldier Tej Bahadur has got the SP ticket from Varanasi,” the party announced on its official Twitter handle.
Tej Bahadur was already in the fray as an independent candidate from Varanasi parliamentary constituency.
It is worth mentioning that Tej Bahadur Yadav was dismissed from the Border Security Force (BSF) in 2017 after he released a video, depicting the poor quality of food served to soldiers.
Yadav had posted four videos on social media in January 2017, which showed him complaining about unpalatable food at his camp along the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir.
The videos triggered outrage across the nation, but the BSF dismissed his allegations.
After announcing his decision to contest against Prime Minister Modi, he had said: “I am contesting as an Independent candidate from Varanasi. The Prime Minister had said he will give the status of martyrs to soldiers of paramilitary forces and will give them a pension. I will ask the Prime Minister if you had made promises, what all did you do to date?”
The SP is contesting the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh to defeat the BJP.
As per the seat-sharing pact, the SP is contesting 37 Lok Sabha seats, while Mayawati-led BSP and Ajit Singh’s RLD have been allocated 38 and three seats respectively.
The election in Varanasi is slated to take place in the last phase of seven-phased Lok Sabha elections on May 19. The counting of votes will begin on May 23.