Kharge asks Congress leaders to unite, win Karnataka in 2023

Former union minister K H Muniyappa, while raising the issue of ‘factionalism’ within the party, asked all leaders to prove the media wrong by putting up a united front. 

Published: 07th November 2022 02:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th November 2022 02:16 AM   |  A+A-

(Left) A shower of flowers and garlands welcome AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge in Bengaluru on Sunday; (Above) Congress workers at the ‘Sarvodaya Samavesha’; (Bottom) The mega event caused traffic snar

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Newly-elected AICC president Mallikarjun M Kharge on Sunday gave a clarion call to the party’s rank and file, especially its senior leaders, to keep aside their differences and bring the Congress back to power in Karnataka in the 2023 Assembly polls.“They (BJP) too lack unity among themselves,” he claimed, while indirectly admitting to the differences within the Congress as well. 

The 80-year-old Dalit strongman, who is the first president of the AICC to emerge from outside the Gandhi family after 24 years, attended the ‘Sarvodaya Samavesha’ here at Palace Grounds to mark his debut visit to Karnataka after being elected as the Congress’ national president.“AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala has been filling up the small holes, as even the sulking leaders should be taken into confidence,” he suggested.

Former union minister K H Muniyappa, while raising the issue of ‘factionalism’ within the party, asked all leaders to prove the media wrong by putting up a united front. “The polls are in the next six months. We should seek Kharge’s guidance by protecting the rights of the Dalits, farmers and the poor. All must unite, even as only one can become the chief minister,” he advised. 

CLP leader Siddaramaiah too admitted that there might be small differences between leaders within the party, but everyone should take it as a challenge to oust the BJP government in the state. “The challenge before us is to remove the communal, anti-poor, anti-farmer and anti-minority dispensation in power. The people of the state have already determined to do so in this regard,” he observed.

Visibly humbled by the rousing welcome he was accorded by the party leaders, from the airport up to the event, Kharge said winning the 2023 polls is all the more significant to him. Meanwhile, he sent out a clear message that no one can vie for party posts without working hard, with a clarity of ideology. He stressed on the importance of organising the party, especially the students’ wing -- NSUI.

Surjewala said that the BJP just cannot elect its own president the way the Congress did under Sonia Gandhi’s leadership and hoped that Kharge would ensure that the party forms the government in Karnataka, by raising the issues of ‘40 per cent commission’ in contracts and communal problems in the state.

Meanwhile, Kharge attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that the latter was in the habit of taking credit for even the smallest of the works. “The bridge in Morbi, Gujarat, that collapsed was inaugurated by him only a few days earlier,” he said.

He also claimed that the Union Government has promised to fill up 1.35 lakh vacancies in the Railways, keeping an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, along with the Assembly polls in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and in Karnataka.

Even chief minister not spared traffic woes   

With the Congress’ ‘Sarvodaya Samavesha’ being attended by thousands of leaders and members, traffic was thrown our of gear over a considerable radius around its venue Palace Grounds, so much so that even Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s cavalcade had to wait a while. Bommai was on his way to Byatarayanapura to take part in a public function, when his convoy got stuck in traffic at Palace Guttahalli for some time.

After receiving Kharge at Kempegowda International Airport at around 11.30 am, his followers, including those from Kalyana Karnataka, had followed him up to his residence at Sadashivanagar near the venue, inconveniencing motorists, including the CM, sources said. The police had a tough time clearing traffic, since the huge crowd was moving towards the venue. Later, they managed to clear the traffic for smooth passage of the chief minister.


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