After facing defeat in Damoh Assembly bypoll in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP’s state unit has issued a show-cause notice to former minister Jayant Malaiya for indulging in “anti-party activities” and suspended the primary membership of his son and five mandal presidents, a party functionary said on Saturday.
The Congress on Sunday retained the Damoh Assembly seat with the party candidate Ajay Tandon defeating his former colleague and nearest BJP rival Rahul Singh Lodhi by a margin of 17,097 votes.
Mr Lodhi had later alleged that “massive internal sabotage” by Mr Malaiya (74) and others had led to his defeat.
Talking about the action taken against them, state BJP media in-charge Lokendra Parashar said, “As per the directives of MP BJP president V D Sharma, the party’s state unit on Friday served a show-cause notice to former minister Jayant Malaiya, seeking clarification for the anti-party activities during Damoh bypoll.”
The party also suspended the primary membership of its five mandal presidents and convenor of the party’s district Prashikshan Prakosht (training cell) Siddharth Malaiya (son of Jayant Malaiya), he said.
According to Parashar, the action was taken for their alleged involvement in anti-party activities during the bypoll, for which polling was held on April 17 and the votes were counted on May 2.
The bypoll was necessitated after Lodhi left the Congress and joined the BJP late last year.
For his bypoll defeat, Mr Lodhi had held Jayant Malaiya and his family responsible.
Union minister Prahlad Patel, who represents Damoh Lok Sabha seat, had also blamed “conspiracies” of insiders for the party’s defeat in the Damoh bypoll.
Jayant Malaiya, who was a BJP MLA for several terms from the area earlier, had stayed away from the bypoll campaign, sources said, adding that there were several local leaders in the party who were upset over Mr Lodhi joining it.
In the 2018 assembly polls, Mr Lodhi had defeated Mr Malaiya. At that time, Mr Lodhi was with the Congress.
State Home minister Narottam Mishra had also said that the BJP lost the Damoh seat “due to our own Jaichands”.
It is a common reference for an insider who betrays, the term coming from the role played by Jaichand who back-stabbed Prithviraj Chauhan in the latter’s fight against invader Muhammad Ghori in the 12th century.
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