New Delhi: Expelled BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav has lost the last hope of being able to contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha election of Varanasi. While rejecting his petition filed against the cancellation of his nomination on Thursday, the Supreme Court has said that there is no merit in his petition.

The decision of the apex court is a major setback to the ‘grand alliance’ in Varanasi that wished to put up a strong challenge to Prime Minister Modi.

Earlier, the Supreme Court, hearing the plea of Tej Bahadur Yadav on Wednesday, had directed the Election Commission to look into every point of the complaint and file a reply in the court till the next day (that is today, 9 May). Election Commission had, before that, cancelled the nomination of Yadav from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat for hiding the fact in his affidavit that he had been expelled from the BSF.

In the hearing of the petition of the Samajwadi Party that had nominated Yadav on Thursday. Rakesh Dwivedi, on behalf of the Election Commission, cited the old decisions including the Representation of People Act that went against Yadav’s plea. In addition, the Election Commission declared the decision of Varanasi’s election officer as correct.

Expelled from BSF

During the hearing in the Supreme Court, Prashant Bhushan said he had attached the order of dismissal of the nomination but had not been given the full chance to answer. He said his client was not trying to prevent the election, but he just wants his name to be there among those of other candidates in the constituency.

Varanasi is voting on 19 May under the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha election.

After hearing the arguments of both the parties, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition and said there was no merit in it.

Yadav, a constable in the BSF, grabbed headlines after questioning the quality of food served to the personnel of the force by making a video of his lunchbox. He was later sacked from the BSF.

Early this year, Yadav decided to contest the election against Prime Minister Modi from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. Earlier, he had filed his nomination as an independent candidate, but later, the SP gave him a ticket as an alternative candidate, replacing Shalini Yadav. But then, the election officer in Varanasi found his affidavit suppressing mandatory information.

Discrepancy in two affidavits

Varanasi’s returning officer had issued a notice to Tej Bahadur for the discrepancy in the two sets of nominations. In his filing dated 24 April as an independent candidate, Tej Bahadur had said that he was sacked from the Border Security Force (BSF). But this information was not mentioned in its second affidavit filed on 29 April as the SP candidate.

Tej Bahadur was asked to get a NOC from the BSF, which he failed to obtain within the stipulated time.

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