TWO DAYS after the Chandigarh Congress faced an embarrassing defeat in the Municipal Corporation elections, Congress leader and former union minister Manish Tewari on Thursday said that “the results were worrying and deep introspection was required”. However, according to Tewari, it was not a referendum on demonetisation.
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“Whatever has happened is worrying and deep introspection is required. Under no circumstances this was a referendum on demonetisation. People are wise and intelligent, and the pain that they have gone through post- demonetisation will be reflected in national elections or perhaps the state elections,” said Tewari.
He added, “In civic elections, it is about civic issues: roads, street lights and perhaps the profile of the candidates.”
Asked whether a wrong strategy was adopted by the Congress or the choice of the candidates was wrong, he said, “I would comment on it in an appropriate manner at an appropriate time and at an appropriate forum.”
On Wednesday, Tewari’s loyalists Chandramukhi Sharma, Gurbachan Singh and others stated that former MP Pawan Bansal should be expelled from the party as he and city Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra, who has submitted his resignation now, were running the party as a private firm.
Sharma and other senior leaders would be meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and AICC secretary Asha Kumari next week to tell them how the Congress was made to suffer loss “to oblige certain people”.
“The tickets were given only to oblige their known and not on the basis of merit. We had been saying from the beginning that senior leaders were not being involved,” said Sharma.
AICC secretary Asha Kumari, who was incharge of the Chandigarh MC elections, had said that it was the local politics which led to the loss of Congress in Municipal Corporation elections. She stated that a wrong strategy was adopted by the local Chandigarh Congress unit which led to such a performance in the civic body elections.
The BJP-SAD clinched 21 of the 26 seats in the corporation polls while the Congress managed to win only four seats. One seat was secured by an Independent.