It is introspection time for t he Congress after the sitting MP Pawan Kumar Bansal lost to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Kirron Kher in the parliamentary elections by highest ever margin of 69,000 votes.
A day after the Lok Sabha election results were declared, the rumours of change of top party leadership have started circulating, though not in open. The senior party leaders admitted t hat t here were certain flaws and lack of strong leadership within the party which led to its defeat.
The party leaders acknowledged that the Modi and AAP wave dented their vote bank.
BB Bahl, president of t he Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC), admitted the party’s defeat but did not blame Bansal for it.
Bahl said it was just that people wanted to vote for change and the ‘broom’ brigade damaged them the most.
He said: “Our vote share from colonies went to the Aam Aadmi Par ty due its broom symbol while the urban vote went to the BJP. Railgate where Bansal’s nephew was caught accepting bribe by the CBI last year was not the reason for the party’s defeat.” Bansal had got a clean chit, he said.
Taking a dig at the BJP, Bahl said the founder of corruption was veteran party leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Coalgate was also reported from the BJP-run state, he said.
When questioned about the change in the party leadership, Bahl said: “I will step down in a minute whenever asked by the party high command.”
Commenting on introspection of the defeat, Bahl said: “We will form a committee and mark an inquiry to know the reasons behind the party’s dismal perfor mance.”
Davinder Babla, former Congress councillor, said the party leadership was lacking which led to the defeat whereas the BJP leadership was strong.
Babla said the party would hold a meeting in some days to decide the further course of action. He said in India there was an anti-Congress environment and pro-Modi wave.
Adding to this for mer city mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said: “We have been voted out because of anti-incumbency. Young and first-time electorate voted for the BJP and AAP, but the the party had not lost due to Railgate.”