Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine had won due to the twin factors of "development" and "peace and harmony" that prevailed during its rule.
Talking to media persons, he said that there were "hundreds" of reasons for Congress defeat in the assembly elections in the state.
"The Congress is the most corrupt; both internal and external security has been compromised and there is a lot of unemployment. I am saying it again that these are only some of the reasons for Congress defeat," he said.
Asked who would be the next CM, he maintained that a party meeting would be held on March 8 in Chandigarh to decide on the issue.
When pressed further, he reiterated that it was for the party to decide.
"Chahe aapko chun le," he said in a lighter vein to a scribe amid peals of laughter.
He appreciated his son and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal for the hard work he put in vis-à-vis organisational elections of the party.
Commenting on his estranged nephew and PPP chief Manpreet Singh Badal, the chief minister asserted that he had all along been saying that Manpreet had committed "political suicide" by parting ways with the SAD. "It was a blunder on part of Manpreet," Badal senior remarked.
Sukhbir Singh Badal, president of SAD and deputy chief minister, who was also present on the occasion, said that the reason for his party's win was that it had taken the agenda of 'performance of the SAD-BJP government' before people.
"We asked them to compare our government's performance with that of the previous Congress regime. There was a clear preference for our government's performance. There was no anti-incumbency factor at play," he asserted.
Asked about his cousin Manpreet, he said that he did not want to go into the issue. "No comments," was his terse reply when asked for his reaction on Captain Amarinder Singh's reported comment, "Akalis' goose will be cooked."
He thanked the Punjabis for reposing faith in the SAD-BJP combine and asserted that they would now work ever harder for the welfare of the people.