The times are challenging, but Congress has to fight: Mallikarjun Kharge | India News

The next President of the National Assembly is likely Mallikarjun Kharge indicate the instructions of Gandhi’s family was requested because Sonia had held the post of party chief for almost 20 years. In an exclusive interview with TOI, Kharge said that after the party polls, Parliament would consider its shortcomings and ‘wherever surgery is needed, it will be done’.
What is your big promise on the Congress front?
My manifesto is the Udaipur manifesto. Everything is in there, as it is the result of detailed discussions among all the talented people, experts and organizational leaders. Some are promising to bring about change. I don’t want to comment on that. But do Declaration of Udaipur is an automatic change, as it has not been implemented yet.
If elected, you will assume leadership of Congress at its most difficult time.
The challenge falls on every party. We have to face those challenges and get out of them. In Karnataka, where I worked for many years, we had frequent power outages and inactivity. Sometimes, election results are so bad as in 1994, that we can’t become a recognized opposition party, and the BJP has four seats more than us. But we never lose heart to fight. Then we won. In Delhi, the BJP lost several times and was even once reduced to two MPs in the Lok Sabha.
Do you believe this is an existential crisis for the party?
What happened in 1996, 1998, 1999? We are not in power. It is after Sonia Gandhi Accept responsibility that Congress has been revived and we came to power with hard work. These days are difficult for us but we are fighting. There are crises like inflationaryGDP fell, unemployment, the rupee fell. We have to convince the people. Now, young people realize they have made a mistake and are being drawn towards Congress. Bharat Jodo Yatra by Rahul Gandhi completed 35 days. People are seeing Congress as the only national alternative against the BJP, from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Regional parties have power in their states, but at the national level, only Congress exists.
In your opinion, what influenced the Congress?
When the elections are over, we will review our constitutional processes such as committees and see where improvements are needed. We will see if our political structure has to change. And where we need to repair, we have to do it, where we need surgery, we have to take care of it. Whatever steps we must take to strengthen the party, we will do it in consultation with leaders with the experience and expertise at hand.
After a long time, a non-Gandhi will be the party president, while there are Gandhi family members who are active in politics. How will the arrangement take place?
Need guidance from the Gandhi family. Sonia Gandhi worked for almost 20 years as the party’s president. Her policy decisions are groundbreaking, like Food Security Act, MGNREGA, RTI, Right to Education. We need her feedback, guidance to improve the party. Is it wrong? Rahul Gandhi is openly opposing the RSS-BJP. With Rahul’s efforts, Congress won in seven states, although we lost power in some states, as our people defected… Maharashtra, Karnataka, MP, Goa, Manipur , Arunachal. For a man who tries his best and delivers results, you can’t say they haven’t done anything yet. Because of Sonia Gandhi, the National Assembly ruled for ten years, but the Gandhi family never expected the Prime Minister’s position or ministerial post. Congress has open consultations, like the CWC meetings. Are there any reports of discussions in the BJP?
Do you need to exercise as widely as you are doing?
In fact, the delegates and comrades-in-arms all asked me to come at least once. And I’m meeting them. They also asked me to argue that members of the Gandhi family were not there, and that someone who had worked at the grassroots level for 50 years should join. It is my duty to comply with their request. I am opposition leader in Rajya Sabha, but I think (becoming party chairman) will be a bigger job than being LOP or minister…my thoughts, my thoughts, ideology The idea that I have believed in from the beginning, that will be done, if you have the authority.
Congressional leaders have frequently left the party. How big of a concern is that for you?
New blood will replace those who have left Parliament. We have to accept that. If some experienced leaders want to return, their fate will be decided through consultations. Each state has some issues and we will decide after the election.


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