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Karnataka Cong unit energised over Kharge’s election as AICC chief

Experts say that Kharge had come very close to becoming the CM in Karnataka thrice in 1999, 2004 and 2013, but narrowly missed the opportunity

Statesman News Service | Bengaluru |

Energised over Mallikarjun Kharge’s elevation as the president of the Congress, the party’s Karnataka unit was jubilant. Party leaders said the development would prove to be a shot in the arm for the grand old party in the upcoming Assembly polls of 2023.

The Congress workers in the state are celebrating the coronation of the veteran Congress leader from the state, who took charge as the president of the Congress on Wednesday.

Karnataka Congress while congratulating Kharge posted on its Twitter on Wednesday that “his commitment and dedication to get special status for the Kalyan Karnataka region is greater.”

“The youth who got employment after the region got special status under Article 371J still remember Kharge’s contributions.”

“Kharge has a special place in the hearts of oppressed classes and Dalits. He had stated many times that he doesn’t want to play the card of Dalit to get positions, and refused to answer questions posed to him, which were addressed to him as a Dalit,” said a party leader.

Old locals recall that Kharge’s family was a victim of atrocities by Razakars, who opposed the union of the princely Hyderabad state into Indian union. The Razakars torched the houses and killed hundreds of people.

Kharge’s mother and his brothers were in one of the torched houses that was gutted in a fire. Kharge along with his father, who were outside the house, escaped the attack and settled down in Kalaburagi.

Though it is a known fact in north Karnataka region, Kharge has never spoken about the incident. He completed graduation in law and emerged as the student leader and later as the union leader.

He joined the Congress in 1969. He entered the Karnataka Assembly from the reserved constituency of Gurumuithakal in 1972. Since then, he got elected continuously nine times till 2008.

He represented Kalaburagi Lok Sabha constituency twice in 2009 and 2014 parliamentary elections. Experts say that Kharge had come very close to becoming the CM in Karnataka thrice in 1999, 2004 and 2013, but narrowly missed the opportunity.