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Asli Fauji Dents Nakli Nationalist’s Mask

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New Delhi: Nobody could have guessed that the battle for Varanasi would be such a farce. It was expected that Narendra Modi would probably win with a comfortable margin and that the Opposition would at best be able to put up just a token fight.
But nobody could have foreseen that Varanasi 2019 will turn out to be a test case for free and fair elections. That a humble soldier who lost his job in the BSF for daring to demand nourishing food for jawans posted on the country’s borders would be punished a second time for seeking to stand for election against an outgoing Prime Minister.
On the surface, it seems straightforward enough – the Election Commission disqualifies Tej Bahadur Yadav, Samajwadi Party’s new Varanasi candidate, because of a discrepancy in his nomination papers. Under the surface, there is a cauldron of controversy and intrigue. Dozens of questions arise along with scores of possibilities.
Perhaps the most obvious question is – what motivated the poll body to swoop down so swiftly at such supersonic speed, to reject Tej Bahadur Yadav’s affidavit on technical grounds? Is it Democracy in action? Or is it yet another instance of Demon-cracy? If instantaneous disqualification is the auto-switch when nomination forms are found to have been incorrectly filled up, then how is it that intriguing discrepancies in the nomination papers of certain well-known candidates pertaining to their marital status and educational qualifications, did not trigger similar prompt and automatic rejection? Was Tej Bahadur Yadav’s candidature rejected to avoid an electoral fight between a “nakli chowkidar and an alsi chowkidar”, as Samajwadi chief Akhilesh Yadav is claiming? Will national security now become the number one issue in the Varanasi campaign but in a way that the BJP leadership never anticipated?

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