Accept defeat with grace and humility: Badal to Congress

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal advised the leaders of the Congress to accept their defeat in the Zila Parishad and Block Samiti poll with “grace, humility and democratic dignity.”

Badal said he was surprised at the Congress refusal to accept the people’s mandate with humility. “In democracy, only the people are sovereign. No sane and responsible political party or leader would ever question their wisdom or insult the popular mandate as the Congress is doing now. This is bad news for the party for future also,” said Badal in a statement released here this afternoon.

The Chief Minister said the Congress needed to do some soul searching on why their string of defeats was getting longer. The Chief Minister also advised the Congress not to be too disheartened by their rout and to draw the right lessons from it.

“The Congress has been losing consistently since 1997, with the sole exception of 2002 assembly poll, when they scraped through narrowly through divide and rule. Before and after that, they have faced total rout. Obviously, something is seriously wrong with their approach,” said the CM, adding: “It is time for serious and honest introspection for that party if they want to remain relevant on the political map of the state. But, unfortunately for them, they seem bent upon persisting with their suicidal path.”

Badal said such was the state of shock within the Congress that their leaders were issuing statements full of broad-daylight contradictions.

“The PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa said that he and his party ensured maximum participation of the Punjabis in these elections and that they (the Congress) did not allow the ruling SAD-BJP alliance to stop anyone from voting freely. Ironically, he is speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – but without his knowing it. I agree with him that the people participated in these elections whole-heartedly and fearlessly. But the Congress was still routed. Why? Mr Bajwa and other Congress leaders must sit down and listen to the voice of conscience, especially in the light of his own unintended truthful statement. They will get the right answers on why their party had been rejected so comprehensively by the people,” said Badal.

The Chief Minister said the main reason for the Congress humiliation was their failure to focus on the people’s issues.

“The Congress must admit that it failed miserably to put its finger on the pulse of the people. People wanted peace, communal harmony and development to continue. But the Congress leaders kept on spitting fire and talking blood and iron whereas the mood of the people was in favour of moderation, peace, civility and constructive development-oriented policies, he said.