'We live in soul of India': Congress

New Delhi, Mar. 11 (ANI): Despite facing a humiliating defeat in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, the grand old party on Saturday said the verdict in the three states of Punjab, Manipur and Goa clearly indicates it lives in the soul of the country and added that the mission of 'Congress-mukt Bharat' will never be accomplished.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the verdict in the three states is a defeat for those talking about making India free from the grand old party.

"Those people who used to talk about Congress free India, I want to say that Congress is the soul of the country and will always remain there," Surjewala told ANI.

Accepting his party's defeat in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, he said that one must always introspect the reason for his victory or loss.

"Congress and Samajwadi Party joined hands for the development of Uttar Pradesh. But the people didn't accept it and we accept this defeat. We are happy with our victory in other states. Sometimes even defeat teaches us a lot," he said.

Surjewala also trained guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the BJP's defeat in other poll-bound states raises question on the former's leadership.

Meanwhile, Union Textiles Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani gave credit to Prime Minister Modi and party chief Amit Shah for the remarkable feat in Uttar Pradesh.

"The people of Uttar Pradesh have given a historic decision. This decision has been delivered without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, race, sex and colour. Rather it is purely on the basis of development promised by Prime Minister Modi," Irani told ANI.

The BJP has crossed the halfway mark in Uttar Pradesh and is presently leading in 311 seats of the 403-member assembly. The Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance is ahead in 68 seats while the Bahujan Samaj Party has so far managed to bag just 18 seats in its kitty.

Uttar Pradesh went to polls in seven phases in the months of February and March.

A total of 4,854 candidates are in fray for 403 assembly constituencies. (ANI)