The Madhya Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has expelled Pritam Lodhi, an Other Backward Class (OBC) leader from Shivpuri district and a relative of former chief minister Uma Bharti, from the party for his “anti-Brahmin and anti-women" remarks. The BJP took the action against Lodhi on Friday despite his written apology to the party over his remarks that he had made earlier this week. Lodhi had unsuccessfully contested the Assembly election from Pichhore in Shivpuri twice in the past. His son is married to the granddaughter of Uma Bharti’s elder sister, an acquaintance of the family said.
“The party took a serious note of Lodhi’s remark against Brahmins and women and found his crime unpardonable. So, state BJP chief V D Sharma on Friday took a decision to expel Lodhi from the party’s primary membership," the ruling party’s state general secretary and office in-charge Bhagwandas Sabnani said in a statement. “For BJP, social harmony and women’s respect is of paramount importance," he said. Lodhi landed in soup after a video of him speaking at the birth anniversary of Rani Avanti Bai Lodhi on August 17 at Badarwas in Shivpuri went viral. In the video, he could be heard saying that Brahmin priests make people crazy, fool them and loot their money and food grain. He also said that some of them stare at women and make young women sit in the front rows during discourses.
After the video went viral, opposition Congress attacked the BJP, while several Brahmin community organisations protested across the state, demanding his expulsion from the party. FIRs were also registered against Lodhi in different police stations in Shivpuri, an official said. A BJP leader said that after a row over his remarks, Lodhi also tendered a written apology to the party. The Lodhi community is one of the most powerful OBC group in Madhya Pradesh. The community holds sway in rural parts of the state. Around 48 per cent voters in MP are from the OBC community.