Avtar Singh Bhadana, candidate of Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance for Jewar constituency, on Thursday announced that he will not contest elections as he is tested positive for Covid-19.
Sources close to Bhadana, a four-time MP, said that he has taken his nomination back and soon after, the name of one advocate — Indraveer Bhati – surfaced as an alternate candidate.
The announcement brought a cheer in the opposition camp — that of sitting MLA and BJP leader Dhirendra Singh — as many consider that Badhana’s candidature has at least ensured a fight on the seat.
However, the happiness for the BJP was short-lived as, by evening, Bhadana came back with a negative Covid-19 report.
Speaking exclusively to News18, Bhadana said that after taking a tour of his constituency in the morning, he ‘felt’ the symptoms of Covid-19.
“I toured the constituency in the morning and felt that I may have some symptoms of the disease. I got myself tested and the report came positive. I went straight to Delhi. In larger public good, I decided not to contest. Nothing is more important for me than people’s health,” said Bhadana.
So, what exactly happened in Delhi? The leader said he got himself tested again and he was told that he has not contracted the virus. “They told me there must be some false report as the report is negative. I called up the leadership and told them that I will contest the polls,” said Bhadana.
According to sources, both SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary reached out to Bhadana.
“All we could tell is that both leaders had a word with Bhadana. It doesn’t augur well for the alliance that candidate refuse to contest after filing the nomination,” stated that source.
The BJP camp that was joyous after hearing about Bhadana’s withdrawal and claimed that the fight is now almost won, is now wondering what happened behind the scenes. “We were already preparing for the fight. With or without Bhadana. It makes no difference to us,” said a senior BJP leader.