Mallikarjun Kharge: Congress's New Outdated Chief Has A Legacy To Defend

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Mallikarjun Kharge: Congress's New Outdated Chief Has A Legacy To Defend
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Mallikarjun Kharge with Rahul Gandhi, who stays the Congress’s face, in ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. (File)

New Delhi:

Mallikarjun Kharge might have been the Institution candidate within the Congress chiefship contest, however he’s laborious to beat anyway — having received virtually each election he has fought. 

‘Solillada saradara’, the undefeated chief, is what his supporters name him in Kannada.

The celebration ballot victory makes him the primary non-Gandhi Congress chief in 24 years. He’s additionally the primary Dalit to steer the Congress in 50 years, solely the second after Jagjivan Ram. He is been a politician for greater than 5 a long time, which implies this is not fairly the one feat he is achieved.

Now within the Rajya Sabha, typically seen as the standard loyalist’s path to being close to the highest rung, he was elected to the meeting in Karnataka 9 instances earlier than coming into the Lok Sabha in 2009. He stored that Lok Sabha seat even when the Modi wave blew a lot of the Congress away in 2014.

However the Congress withered additional in 2019. He, too, misplaced. He entered the Higher Home in 2021, unchallenged, from Karnataka. Within the Rajya Sabha, he was Chief of Opposition till he resigned final month, loyal to the celebration’s ‘one individual, one submit’ rule to contest the inner election.

At 80, he’s maybe a era or two older than the rival he defeated, 66-year-old Shashi Tharoor.

Age is certainly one of two chief factors made in opposition to his being match to lead the Congress into the 2024 contest in opposition to PM Narendra Modi-led BJP.

The opposite is the allegation that he is only a placeholder, a loyalist who is not going to do a lot of a shake-up. Shashi Tharoor underlined that along with his pitch being “Assume Tomorrow”.

Who’s driving?

Even immediately, Mr Kharge was eager to drive to Sonia Gandhi’s home after being declared the winner, sources stated. That drive may’ve additional fueled the cost that he’s however a proxy whereas the Gandhis steer him from the backseat. The plan was dropped, and Sonia Gandhi drove to his home as a substitute.

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Not that he is apologetic about being a loyalist, although he wasn’t fairly the primary alternative on that rely both. He has stated he would seek the advice of the Gandhis and different senior leaders in a “collective decision-making course of”.

He stepped in with out fuss after the Gandhis’ first alternative, Ashok Gehlot, didn’t give up as Rajasthan Chief Minister.

A lawyer and union chief, he stepped into the Congress in 1969, when Indira Gandhi was nonetheless Prime Minister. He received 9 instances in a row from Gurmitkal in his residence district Gulbarga (since renamed to Kalaburagi). He was chief of the town Congress and later the state unit, and twice received the Lok Sabha polls from Gulbarga phase.

In Karnataka, he led commissions that carried out land reforms amongst different social measures, and later turned a minister too. He served as Chief of Opposition within the Karnataka meeting too.

He was chief of the celebration within the Lok Sabha from 2014 to 2019 however not the Chief of Opposition technically, as a result of the celebration didn’t have the numbers — wanting the required 10 per cent of the seats to get the submit.

In Manmohan Singh’s cupboard through the 10 years of UPA rule, he was minister for Labour, Railways and Social Justice. 

In his state, Karnataka, he was Residence Minister — Quantity 2 to the Chief Minister — however by no means acquired the highest chair.

Id and politics 

Each time his caste id was cited to say he needs to be Chief Minister in some unspecified time in the future, he’d shut the speak down — in his signature sober tone. “Why do you retain saying Dalit time and again? Do not say that. I am a Congressman,” he stated when this got here up through the Congress president’s election too.

“A humble celebration employee from an atypical household has immediately acquired the honour of changing into the celebration’s president,” he stated in a post-win address.

He was born at Varavatti in Bidar district of Karnataka on July 21, 1942, and acquired a BA and a regulation diploma from Kalaburagi. He labored as a lawyer earlier than coming into politics fulltime. A 12 months earlier than the political plunge, he acquired married in 1968. With spouse Radhabai, he has two daughters and three sons.

One in all his sons, Priyank Kharge, is a legislator in Karnataka who’s been a minister within the earlier Congress authorities.



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