In a loss of face for the gathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh, its stunt to replace Shalini Yadav, a leader it had earlier named as its Varanasi candidate, with ex-BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav at the last moment against PM Narendra Modi backfired.
The Samajwadi Party a few hours ago fielded the former BSF jawan.
Now the party faces chaos as Shalini Yadav has refused to back out leading to confusion about who is the gathbandhan's face in Varanasi.
"The party president had asked me to file my nomination and I have done so. The party president's decision is final. I will not take back my nomination. I am the legitimate candidate. There is no confusion. Party president Akhilesh Yadav had asked me to file nomination and hence I did she said," she said.
The fielding of Yadav raises the questions whether the move is purely symbolism or there is much more to it.
The ex-BSF jawan, a native of Rewari in Haryana, had posted a video online about five months back, complaining about poor quality food being served to the troops on the icy heights along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
He was dismissed by a Summary Security Force Court (SSFC) in 2017 where he was tried on two counts -- of making "false allegations" on social media regarding the quality of food and carrying two mobile phones while on operational duty. BSF spokesperson had alleged that constable Yadav did not obey a general order of the force and carried two mobile phones while on operational duty which was against the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Yadav also posted photographs in uniform on social media in contravention of instructions, the spokesman had said.
Earlier, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had said she would fight against PM Modi in only to back out from the race, as Congress fielded Ajay Rai a day ahead of PM Narendra Modi's mega roadshow in Varanasi.