IMPHAL, November 24: Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee president Gaikhangam accepting his party’s loss in the bye-election said “The Congress accepts the verdict of the people and will consider it as a good lesson.”
The BJP won both the Thongju and Thangmeiband Assembly Constituency seats defeating the Congress in both seats by huge margins.
Soon after the results were out, Gaikhangam who spearheaded the Congress campaign along with Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in both constituencies called a press conference at his official quarter at Babupara this afternoon.
He said he has already congratulated the winning candidates and the BJP Manipur president Th Chaoba on their win.
We respect and honour the decision of the people of Thangmeiband and Thongju constituencies, but the result doesn’t mean that the BJP wave has reached Manipur, he claimed.
Denying that the win could mean that the BJP wave has reached Manipur he said “This election according to my assessment was not won by the BJP wave.”
In Manipur winning elections are largely dependent on the individual candidates, he said.
Although, party affiliation is important to win elections, in Manipur people tend to vote based on their preference for the individual candidate rather than on party affiliation, he observed.
The MPCC president said the winners must be more close and accessible to the public.
But it would be wrong to say that winning just two seats in the 60 member House means that the BJP Wave has reached Manipur, he observed.
Citing that the opposition parties had always alleged the ruling party of winning the past elections by use of money and muscle power, he observed the bye-election results have, however, negated this claim.
This is the beauty of democracy, he said.
On the loss of both Congress candidates, Gaikhangam said wins or losses are part and parcel of election, and it is only normal for a party to win while the other losses.
As a responsible party, the Congress will not loss hope after this result, Gaikhangam observed.
We have to learn to accept the result whether we win or lose he said before adding that the newly elected MLAs will be more experienced this time and will hopefully be able to perform their duty honestly as the peoples’ representatives are supposed to.
We already have 48 members out of the 60 member House and as such we cannot complain of whether we are winning more seats or not, Gaikhangam said.
The defeat is a major setback for the Congress, but it will act as a good lesson before the next general election, he added.
He further observed that party leaders and workers need to be more careful in the future.
The defeat at the same time could be a blessing for the government as it will mean strengthening the Opposition in the State Assembly, Gaikhangam said.
The State Assembly will be more effective with more opposition MLAs, he added.
Congratulating the two elected candidates, he said he wished the two to do better this time.
As for the factors which resulted in the party’s defeat, he said the party will have to first review the situation for which a review meeting will be convened soon.
When asked if he thinks the BJP had used money and muscle power to win the seats, he refused to comment stating that it was the peoples’ decision that he cannot question.
It is the peoples’ decision and we need to respect and honour it, he said stating that the party will examine where it went wrong so as to prepare for the future.