Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday asked state Congress leaders to accept their party`s defeat in Zila Parishad and Block Samiti polls with "grace, humility and democratic dignity".
The Congress party`s refusal to accept the people`s mandate with humility was surprising, he said.
"In a democracy, only the people are sovereign. No sane and responsible political party or leader will ever question their wisdom or insult the popular mandate as the Congress is doing now," Badal said.
The Congress needed to do some honest soul-searching if it wanted to remain relevant in the state, he said.
The ruling SAD-BJP combine in Punjab had notched up an emphatic win in Zila Parishad and Block Samiti polls romping home in majority of the seats.
The Congress-Peoples Party of Punjab alliance suffered a rout in the elections, polling for which was held on May 19.
Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa had dismissed as "mischievous" the SAD-BJP`s claim of landslide victory.
"It is not a popular mandate," he had said yesterday.
Badal said the main reason for the Congress` humiliation in Zila Parishad and Block Samiti elections was its failure to focus on people`s issues.
"The Congress must admit it has failed miserably to put its finger on pulse of the people who want peace, communal harmony and development," the Chief Minister said.
"Accept the defeat with grace, humility and democratic dignity," he advised the Congress leaders.