Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday became the first non-Gandhian president of Congress which is the country’s 137-year-old political party. After 24 years, the leadership of Congress has gone to the hands of a leader from non-Gandhi family. Mallikarjun Kharge got more than 7 thousand votes out of 9000 votes. However, the formal announcement is yet to be made. On the other hand, Shashi Tharoor has accepted his defeat.
Congress New President: Senior leader of Karnataka Mallikarjun Kharge has been elected as the new President of Congress. In a straight contest, Kharge defeated Shashi Tharoor by a huge margin. Kharge is considered very close to the Gandhi family.
After the refusal of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, the names of many senior leaders of the party surfaced for the post of Congress President. First Shashi Tharoor, then Ashok Gehlot, Kamal Nath, Digvijay Singh and finally Mallikarjun Kharge. Mallikarjun Kharge was also considered as the biggest contender for the post of Congress President.
Mallikarjun Kharge, a strong contender
Most senior Congress leaders backed Mallikarjun Kharge’s candidature. Kharge comes from the Mahadalit community. Congress leaders believed that if a Dalit leader is made the president, then the party can reach the Dalit and Mahadalit vote bank across the country. The advantage of making Kharge the president can be found in the recent assembly elections in Karnataka and other states.
Kharge’s political career
Mallikarjun Kharge, who started his political career from university elections, is close aide of the Gandhi family. After student politics, he became the leader of the workers.
Kharge was born on 12 July 1942 in Varavatti, Bidar district of Karnataka. Born in a farmer’s family, Kharge did his LLB after completing his schooling, graduation from Gulbarga and started practicing law here.
In 1969, Kharge joined the Congress party and three years later, in 1972, for the first time, was elected MLA from the Gurmeet assembly seat in Karnataka. Let us tell you that he has been elected MLA nine times in this seat. He was also made a minister several times during the Congress government in Karnataka.
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In 2009, Kharge was elected MP for the first time from Gulbarga. After this, he again became an MP from this seat. He was also the Railway Minister in Manmohan Singh’s government. At present, he has also held the post of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Mother died in riots
When Kharge was just seven years old, some other members of his mother’s family were killed in communal riots in Varvatti village of Bidar district. There were few members left in the family with whom Kharge settled in Kalaburagi district. The name of the wife of Mallikarjun Kharge is Radhabai Kharge. The Kharge couple has three sons and two daughters. Son Priyank Kharge is the second time Congress MLA from Chittapur assembly seat in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka.