Mallikarjun Kharge has become the new President of Congress. After 24 years, the reins of the party are with a leader who does not belong to the Gandhi family. Kharge started his political journey from 1972. However, the struggle of his life had started only at the age of seven.
HYDERABAD: He was only seven then, when Mallikarjun Kharge saw his mother and sister burning alive in front of his eyes, but he could not do anything. His house was burnt down by the private army of the Nizam of Hyderabad. Kharge had to leave his native village. Along with him was his father. He hails from Varavatti village in Bidar district of Karnataka. Kharge’s life struggle had started from the age of just seven years. In 1972, he had registered his first victory in the Gurmitkal assembly election of Karnataka. It is a safe seat of Kalaburagi district.
Till 2008, he continued to win elections from this seat. After that he decided to contest from Chittapur. In 2019, he lost the Lok Sabha elections. He was defeated by the BJP candidate. This is his only election defeat. He has been an eight-time MLA and two-time Lok Sabha MP. Today, 50 years after starting his political career, he has reached the pinnacle of the party.
Ever since he started his political journey, he has been loyal to the Gandhi family. But he got its recognition in 2014. At one time he was called the CM-in-waiting of Karnataka. And every time his name could not be finalized due to some reason or the other. Since the 1980s, whenever the Congress government was formed, most of the governments had ministers.
In 2004, when the discussion started about his becoming the CM, suddenly Dharam Singh’s name came up and he became the CM. Then there was an alliance of Congress and JDS. In 2013, it was decided that Kharge would become the CM of Karnataka. After the election, the party started the process for the selection of the leader in the legislative party meeting. But even here the bet slipped out of his hands. Siddaramaiah emerged as the winner.
According to political observers, Kharge’s political journey has not been so smooth. He comes from scheduled caste. Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities are more vocal in the state. It is difficult to ignore these two communities in state politics. Despite this, Kharge’s commitment and determination never waned. At one point of time, he was the legal advisor of MSK Mills, Kalaburagi. After that in 1969 he became the leader of the United Mazdoor Sangh. In the same year he took the membership of Congress. He became the President of Kalaburgi City Unit.
It is true that he entered electoral politics from 1972, but he could become close to the Gandhi family only in 2014. Actually, its background was made in 2009 itself. The search was on for safe seats for the Congress high command. The BJP was continuously strengthening its position in Karnataka. Despite this, Kharge had won the Lok Sabha elections for two consecutive terms from Kalburgi. in 2009 and 2014. The party had also considered his seat. Kharge was also ready for this. The success with which Kharge worked for the party as floor leader in the Lok Sabha brought him closer to the Gandhi family.
The party gave him the responsibility of Maharashtra in 2018. This decision surprised everyone, because Kharge was the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha. He was also chairing the Public Accounts Committee. It is said that the way in which he maintained his credibility towards the Gandhi family, he never let it go down, it was the result of that. Some people believe that getting the post of Congress President is the result of his great reverence for the Gandhi family, but we forget when he started the struggle, when he was only seven years old.
On this success of his father, his son Priyank said, the quest for equality, no compromise on ideology, and always using power beyond capacity, has brought him to this place today.
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