NEW DELHI Tej Bahadur Yadav, a former BSF jawan who was sacked for highlighting the poor quality of rations served to the armed forces, announced on Friday that he would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking to the media in Rewari, Yadav announced that he would campaign on a platform of anti-corruption against Narendra Modi, who he said had done nothing for the armed forces.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, he said his intention was to highlight how the government had failed the armed forces. He referenced his dismissal from the services, which he is currently contesting in court, and criticised the government for failing to act on his case, which he felt was an issue of corruption.
In January 2017, Yadav had released a video describing the rations served to him and his fellow forces in the armed forces. In the video, he described working for 12 hours of standing duty while being hungry. He filmed the rations served to the BSF, which included watery, un-condimented dal and under-cooked rotis. The video had gone viral and resulted in pubic uproar. In 2018, the BSF commissioned an inquiry into the state of the food served to the Armed Forces, which later claimed that 97 per cent of BSF personnel were satisfied with their meals.
Yadav was dismissed from the BSF by a Summary Security Force Court in July 2018. The charges against him included making false allegations on social media and carrying two mobile phones while on operational duty. While he contested the dismissal in court, his videos drew frequent flak from the Armed Forces, prompting the jawan to request PM Modis intervention in the matter.
Last year, Yadavs 22-year-old son was found dead in his room with a gun in his hands, in an apparent suicide.
News media have reported that Yadav had been planning his candidature for months. He intends to seek the help of ex-servicemen and farmers to build his campaign in Varanasi.