Author: Astha Srivastava, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi
Allahabad High Court has issued a notice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with a petition challenging his election from Varanasi constituency in 2019 LokSabha elections. The petition was filed by Tej Bahadur, ex-BSF jawan and SP candidate, whose nomination to contest from Varanasi was dismissed by the Election Commission.
A petition was recently filed by Tej Bahadur Yadav (former Border Security Force Jawan), challenging the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Parliamentary constituency in LokSabha election. Tej Bahadur Yadav had filed as an independent but was later named by the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Party alliance as the candidate from the seat.
On May 1, 2019, Tej Bahadur Yadav’s nomination papers were rejected by the District Returning Officer of Varanasi due to his failure to submit a certificate that he was sacked from the Border Security Force for either corruption or disloyalty. According to EC officials, Tej Bahadur Yadav presented differing accounts over why he was sacked from the BSF in his nomination papers.
EC in a written letter to Tej Bahadur Yadav said that, “Any government employee who has been dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the state should be disqualified from campaigning for a period of five years”.
“The Petitioner was not given an opportunity to be heard before rejection of his nomination paper”, Senior Advocate Dharmendra Yadav appearing on behalf of Tej Bahadur Yadav argued.
In his election petition, Tej Bahadur Yadav alleged that his nomination paper was wrongly rejected and requested the court to declare null and void Narendra Modi’s election as a Member of Parliament from Varanasi Seat. He also took a plea that since Modi had not given details of his family in his nomination papers, his nomination should have been rejected as well but this did not happen.
The Allahabad High Court had issued notice to PM Narendra Modi and asked the respondent to file a reply. The next date of hearing was fixed to be on August 21.
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