Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday said that the defeat of the ruling party in the Dakha by-election foreshadows the impending defeat of the Congress party in the forthcoming assembly general elections nearly two years later. Badal said that people defied unprecedented abuse of government machinery, money and muscle power by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and the ruling party and handed an emphatic victory to the SAD-BJP candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali from the Dakha assembly constituency, as also close fights in most of the remaining three constituencies. ”
From today onwards, the Congressmen will start preparing themselves for years in the wilderness after the full-scale assembly elections just two years away.” The Akali leader expressed his gratitude to the electorate for standing by the alliance partners despite the ruling party’s massive abuse of power, and the use of the tactics of terror and temptation. He also thanked the SAD-BJP leadership and rank and file for continuing to work hard in the service of the people. Badal said that the CM made Dakha a matter of his personal and political prestige. “This was evident from his fielding a personal confidant and breaking all personal records in the manner in which he campaigned there. Despite this, he has been made to lick the dust in Dakha”.
In a statement here in the wake of the results of the by-elections in the state this afternoon, Mr Badal said, “In Punjab’s political history, a ruling party rarely loses by-elections but when it does, it is always followed by the loss of power in the ensuing assembly elections. “It happened after Gidderbaha and it happened also after Adampur which we had lost. So, everyone knows why the result from Dakha is so important as this is only the second instance in the state’s history in which the ruling Congress party has lost a by-election, the other instance being at Gidderbaha when Beant Singh was the Chief Minister.”
Commenting on other constituencies, Mr Badal said that Amarinder and his entire party had pooled and marshalled all their resources, state power and money against the SAD-BJP candidate at Jalalabad. “Captain Amarinder Singh even brought in mafia and musclemen from outside the state, to scuttle a free and fair election at Jalalabad and this was done against a SAD-BJP candidate who is famous for his gentle and honest ways. The concentration at Jalalabad was unprecedented even by the Congress’ known standards of misuse of power, money, muscle and mafia”.
Badal said that though the massive misuse of government machinery and other malpractices by the ruling party influenced the final outcome at Phagwara and Mukerian, the extremely narrow margins there also showed that the Congress will have no chance at all when a full assembly poll is announced. Phagwara and Mukerian showed that the SAD-BJP was resurgent in towns and cities also, Badal added.