In a surprising development, the Samajwadi Party on Monday changed its candidate in the Lok Sabha Varanasi seat and pitted sacked BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Samajwadi Party announced the candidature of Yadav, a resident of Rewari in Haryana who was earlier dismissed from service after he complained about poor quality of food served to the armed forces.
Yadav had earlier announced that he will contest as an independent candidate from Varanasi.
The Samajwadi Party had named Shalini Yadav as its candidate in the Varanasi constituency which will see voting on May 19.
The move comes days after Congress announced the candidature of former MLA Ajay Rai from Varanasi to challenge Modi from the prestigious constituency. Ajay Rai had also contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi and had ranked third with over 75,000 votes, behind AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal. A Bhumihar by caste, Ajay Rai wields considerable influence over his community in eastern Uttar Pradesh.