THE CONGRESS managed a landslide victory in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh by-polls where the party’s candidate Ajay Tandon won by a margin of 17,089 votes, nearly leading in all of the 26 rounds. A high-pitched election campaign held by the ruling BJP, which brought Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to campaign for turncoat Rahul Singh Lodhi, seems to have worked against the party.
Lodhi had defected to BJP in October necessitating the by-polls. He had defeated former finance minister and BJP leader Jayant Malaiya, who was facing anti-incumbency in 2018, with a narrow margin of 800 votes.
Speaking to reporters, Lodhi, who fought from Malaiya’s seat, accused him of being responsible for the defeat. “I have lost in those wards which was directly under Jayant Malaiya’s watch. He was given the responsibility of the urban areas, which we lost to Congress. I confidently say that it was Malaiya family’s plan that worked and BJP lost the by-polls. Congress did not have workers working on ground,” he said.
Meanwhile, state Congress president, Kamal Nath called this victory an indication of the times to come for BJP. Nath said, “I congratulate the people of Damoh for they have sided with truth and that they are with the forces that unite the country.”
He also requested the party workers to not celebrate the victory on the streets owing to the second wave of Covid-19.