GULBARGA: He was a simple boy with interest in sports, says Mallikarjun Kharge’s Physical Education Teacher at high school, while Sidram Phulse, Kharge’s colleague during their law practice says Kharge was a man who always kept his word.
This is how Mallikarjun Kharge’s teacher and colleague reacted on the eve of Kharge becoming a union cabinet minister on Thursday.
Expressing happiness over his student becoming a central minister, Ram Rao Gurjar, Physical education teacher of Nutana Vidyalaya where Mallikarjun Kharge studied till 10th, said it is good a man with concern for the down-trodden and an urge for development has become a union minister.
Gurjar who is popularly known as Ram Rao master said Kharge never quarreled with anybody, mingled with all and showed leadership abilities.
Kharge was a poor student and his mathematics teacher M B Shetty used to take special classes for him without taking any fees.
Kharge excelled in kabaddi, hockey and football, winning many district and divisionallevel prizes.
Sidram Phulse who along with Kharge was under Justice Shivraj Patil (Retired SC Judge and former member of National Human Rights Commission) in Gulbarga during 1969 recalled his friendship with Kharge.
“We would blame politicians for their nature, but my friend does not have any quality which people do not like,” Phulse says.
“Former MLA late-Dharm Rao Afzalpurkar was responsible for making Kharge and Dharm Singh legislators of Gurmitkal and Jewargi at the time when I was the General Secretary of District Congress in 1972,” he says.
Phulse says Kharge is a follower of both Ambedkar and Buddhism.
Former minister S K Kanta who is a labour leader recalls his association with Kharge when they jointly participated in an agitation against MSK Mill management in Gulbarga in 1969.
“Kharge was the leader of Samyukta Majdoor Sangha and I was the leader of MSK Mill Noukara Sangha. We jointly staged agitation against the management and at that time police opened fire on the agitators,” recalls Kanta.