Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday advised Congress leaders to accept defeat in the zila parishad and block samiti polls with "grace, humility and democratic dignity."
In a press statement, Badal said he was surprised at the Congress' refusal to accept the mandate with humility. "In a 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 the future also," Badal quipped.
Advising the Congress to do some soul-searching, the chief minister also asked the Congress not to be too disheartened and instead draw the right lessons from the defeat.
"The Congress has been losing consistently (in Punjab) since 1997, with the sole exception of the 2002 assembly polls… Before and after that they have faced total rout. Obviously, something is seriously wrong with their approach," Badal said.
The chief minister said such was the state of shock within the Congress that its leaders were issuing statements full of "broad-daylight contradictions". Badal said the main reason behind the Congress' humiliation was its failure to focus on people's issues.
"The Congress," Badal said, "must admit that it failed miserably to put its finger on the pulse of the people. People want peace, communal harmony and development to continue. But Congress leaders kept spitting fire."