Chennai: Counting of votes for the Tamil Nadu assembly and the bypoll for the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha in Chennai on Sunday, May 02, April, 2021.(Photo:parthi bhan /IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Bhopal, May 11 : The BJP's defeat in the Damoh bypoll and the action taken against those involved in anti-party activities have increased factionalism in the party. As a result, social media has become a battleground for the warring factions.

BJP's Rahul Lodhi had to bite the dust against Congress candidate Ajay Tandon in Madhya Pradesh's Damoh by-election the result of which was declared on May 2. Taking the defeat seriously, the BJP has iniated action against those involved in anti-party activities. Five divisional president and a former minister's son Siddharth Malaiya have been suspended from the party, while former minister Jayant Malaiya has been issued a show cause notice.

Rahul Lodhi and Union Minister Prahlad Patel have directly targeted Jayant Malaiya for allegedly sabotaging the party's prospects in Damoh. As per the ground report received by the BJP, Malaiya who hails from the area and a former minister in Shivraj Singh cabinet did not actively support the party candidate and there was a lot of dissatisfaction among the ordinary voters against Rahul Lodhi.

On the action against him, Malaiya says that if any candidate loses by 17 thousand votes, it means that the public is angry with him. He said the public was not angry with the party but was angry with Rahul Lodhi.

Following the action against Malaiya, many leaders have attacked the party without naming anyone. These leaders include those who are currently not holding any position of power or are not in the good book of the party leadership. Former ministers Himmat Kothari, Kusum Mahdele and Ajay Vishnoi, apart from some MLAs have openly raised their voinces on the social media against the show cause notice to Malaiya.

The BJP's decision to field Lodhi instead of Malaiya had led to some heartburn though Malaiya was persuaded to work for the party. Despite that, immediately after the bypoll results, Lodhi accused Malaiya of sabotaging the election and demanded disciplinary action against him.

Political analysts believe that Damoh's by-election was between BJP's Rahul Lodhi vs Congress' Ajay Tandon. The public was more annoyed with Rahul Lodhi who had defected from the Congress to join the BJP. The Congress had alleged that Rahul Lodhi was paid in crores to join the BJP. Though the party organization worked hard but Rahul Lodhi could not register a win, though he did well in urban area. If the party organisation had not put in all its efforts, he would have lost by a bigger margin.

Political analyst Santosh Gautam says Malaiya has been an influential leader of the state, a minister many times. He has been a man of the masses. When the BJP in Damoh changed him as a candidate, the party was likely to face a reversal. When the party decided to take action against him for anti-party activities, it should also think if it is doing the right thing.

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