Home Business Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge Has Earned The Trust Of INDIA Bloc | Arabian Weekly

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge Has Earned The Trust Of INDIA Bloc | Arabian Weekly

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Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge Has Earned The Trust Of INDIA Bloc | Arabian Weekly

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By Sushil Kutty

The release of a book on November 29 in New Delhi brought the focus back on the INDI-Alliance, which was seen to be losing its direction and purpose in recent weeks much to the chagrin of those who wanted to see the back of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government come 2024. The book ‘Mallikarjun Kharge: Political Engagement With Compassion, Justice and Inclusive Development’ marked Kharge’s 50 years in electoral politics. Its release comes at a time when “inclusive development” has become a mantra of sorts with the Opposition.

The praise Mallikarjun Kharge mustered with the book would have made a younger man blush, but the Congress President ladled some of his own for the Congress, which had made him a Karnataka minister at age 29. Today, he heads the Congress and the Grand Old Party is pivotal to the INDIA bloc, the Opposition alliance tasked to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi from office. The day the INDIA bloc takes charge of INDIA will be the happiest day of Mallikarjun Kharge’s 50+ year career.

And to think that Kharge was the third choice of the Gandhi Family for the Congress President’s post. The first was Ashok Gehlot who turned out to be a stickler for the Rajasthan Chief Minister’s post. Gehlot refused point-blank to be Congress President. The second choice was Digvijay Singh, but he dropped out once talk of Mallikarjun entering the fray hit the airwaves.

From then on Kharge was the Gandhi Family favourite. On Wednesday, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi stood on stage with Kharge to release ‘Mallikarjun Kharge: Political Engagement With Compassion, Justice and Inclusive Development’. One of them who will not miss the book would be Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor who had refused to allow Kharge to become Congress president without a fight.

‘Mallikarjun Kharge: Political Engagement With Compassion, Justice and Inclusive Development’ has now become a junction for parties and leaders of the INDIA bloc who had been drifting apart, several of them placing the blame squarely on the Congress. The Congress refused seat-sharing in the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly elections and that had become a sore point.

And, somehow, for whatever reason, Kharge appeared helpless. Either he was out of his depth or totally at sea. After December 3, when the election results are out, Kharge would have to show his mettle. Fifty years of political wheeling-dealing cannot be dismissed away. Kharge will have to convince leaders other than Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi that he was up to the challenge.

The DMK and the CPM have faith in Kharge. As does Lalu Prasad’s RJD. CPM general-secretary Sitaram Yechury and the RJD’s Manoj Jha were also on the dais. Those in the audience included leaders of the TMC, Shiv Sena (UBT) and JD(U). None of the opposition political parties spoke a word on the INDI-Alliance. They settled for giving the Modi government an earful. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is India-Enemy No.1 and the non-Congress opposition wanted Kharge not to squander the opportunities that come with the INDI-Alliance on narrow political ends.

Both Kharge and Sonia Gandhi slammed the BJP government for subverting the Constitution and other India institutions. “Today, both the Constitution and our Parliamentary democracy are in danger in our country…they are waiting for the right time to bring their own constitution,” Kharge said. “I have seen many challenges to the country over the last 50 years…To emerge stronger, we should be able to sort out our differences and come together boldly.”

And as if on cue, Sonia Gandhi added: “To me personally, Kharge has been a wise companion and a pillar of strength…” Kharge was “deeply touched.” He ended up thanking all those who contributed to the writing of Mallikarjun Kharge: Political Engagement With Compassion, Justice and Inclusive Development’. “I would like to thank all the people who have written about me in this book … I am deeply touched by the message from all of you … What I have been able to contribute to the people of my constituency, my state, and my country…”

Mallikarjun Kharge is the Dalit face of not just the Congress but also of the INDI-Alliance. And though he is not the convenor of the opposition parties’ unity alliance he has experience on his side just like he had age on his side when he was made a minister in Karnataka at age 29. Sonia Gandhi added to the Kharge halo with “he has always placed party organization above his personal interest… No matter how high or low the status of his colleague, Khargeji has always been consensual and collaborative. To me personally Khargeji has been a wise companion and a pillar of strength.” That leaves Mallikarjun Kharge with the big job of bringing compassion, justice and inclusive development to India. Is he up to the trust placed on him? (IPA Service)

The post Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge Has Earned The Trust Of INDIA Bloc first appeared on Latest India news, analysis and reports on IPA Newspack.

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