Lok Sabha elections 2019: Those who ate humble pie on May 23

'I just remembered to remove all the bookmarks on tweets saying “save this for the 23rd of May"', tweeted Omar Abdullah

By The Telegraph in New Delhi
  • Published 25.05.19, 1:15 PM
  • Updated 25.05.19, 1:15 PM
  • 2 mins read
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Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah Telegraph file photo

When it is time to eat humble pie, some shove it straight in, others with some resistance. So it was this time too, when Narendra Modi came back with a thundering mandate.

Perhaps the most direct in conceding the defeat of his hopes was Ashoka University vice-chancellor and columnist Pratap Bhanu Mehta.

In his column in The Indian Express, Mehta wrote: “The only authentic analysis of this election is two words: Narendra Modi. Everything else is irrelevant. Modi convinced the voters that he could write India’s destiny. And they were glad to outsource their destiny to him. Anybody who doubted that this was going to be the outcome, including this columnist, should eat humble pie.”

Like Mehta, there were others whose hopes were dashed. 

Omar Abdullah, who had tweeted his fear that not all exit polls could be wrong about Modi’s victory, was in the mood to make a confession.

“I just remembered to remove all the bookmarks on tweets saying “save this for the 23rd of May”. I did & every single one of them was wrong. I toyed with posting them now but that would be mean.

Omar will be remembered, perhaps, not just for his biting tweets but also for saying that he wants a separate Prime Minister for Kashmir. But Sam Pitroda, one of Congress’ strategists, will be in public memory for some time for saying “hua toh hua” when the anti-Sikh riots were mentioned.

As the results became clear, Pitroda became sombre.

“It is time to review, reflect and redirect our organization to build the necessary foundation for the future. It is time for soul searching and deep understanding of what we need to do going forward with a focus on our values, culture, strategy, systems and lot more,” he tweeted.

Yashwant Sinha, once a BJP senior leader who became a regular critic of Modi, seemed to be in no mood for soul searching. He warned abusers outright. Never mock a loser in a democracy. It always entails a heavy cost on the winner. The country has seen bigger electoral victories in the past but hubris has always led to defeat. So, be warned abusers.”

Two first-time contestants who lost were in no mood to give up.

The CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar, whose fight in Begusarai against the Giriraj Singh was crowd-funded, made it clear in Hindi verse that the fight is on now.

Prakash Raj, who lost the Bangalore Central seat, had hoped on May 19that the voters would prove the exit polls wrong.

But he was wrong.

“With the EXIT POLLS ....Let some DAY DREAM that NIGHTMARE will come back. But ON 23 rd ...I BELIEVE CITIZENS will PROVE it WRONG….”

Four days later, he wrote about the “solid slap” that the election result had served him.

“a SOLID SLAP on my face ..as More ABUSE..TROLL..and HUMILIATION come my way..I WILL STAND MY GROUND ..My RESOLVE to FIGHT for SECULAR INDIA will continue..A TOUGH JOURNEY AHEAD HAS JUST BEGUN ..THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO WERE WITH ME IN THIS JOURNEY. .... JAI HIND”