Kharge filing his nomination
Mallikarjun Kharge files his nomination for the AICC presidential race on September 30

50% Congress posts for those below 50 if I win: Mallikarjun Kharge

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Mallikarjun Kharge said on Saturday that 50 per cent of Congress posts would go to those aged below 50 if he won the AICC presidential poll. His decision was in line with a proposal of the Udaipur Declaration, he said.

Kharge’s comment came amid suggestions that the Congress leadership needed more young blood and that 80-year-old Kharge replacing 75-year-old Sonia Gandhi would not work for the party. He was in Hyderabad as part of his campaign for the AICC president’s post.

Replying to a query about whether youth were moving away from the party, he said, “Many people left. They left due to fear of ED, CBI, and income tax. For youngsters, as I said, in the Udaipur Declaration, we promised to give 50 per cent of seats to those below 50 years, and I will do.”

Also read: Telangana Congress unit snubs Tharoor; bats for Kharge

Promises galore

He added that senior leaders have backed his candidature and urged him to fight the poll to keep the party strong at a time when Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra do not want to contest. “When everyone is wanting to make me occupy this place, I thank them,” he said.

A reporter asked Kharge about the ruling TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) renaming itself as Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and deciding to go national. “Several regional parties have given themselves the ‘All-India’ tag, but have no presence from Kanyakumari to Kashmir,” he pointed out.

He further promised to make efforts to implement the Udaipur Declaration and resolve the issues of farmers, labourers, SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities, and small businessmen.

Also read: Kharge choice: Congress’ socio-political engineering ahead of 2024

“Contesting to fight”

Kharge said there should be a fight against issues such as rising unemployment, decline in rupee value, price rise, GST on essential items, and disinvestment in PSUs. Blaming the BJP-led NDA government for these, he said he was contesting the AICC polls to carry out the fight.

The Congress veteran said he believed in a collective approach and in taking everyone along, including the youth and women.

Criticising the BJP for questioning whether any election was conducted to choose Congress presidents, he said that party did not have any right to question others. He wondered whether any election was conducted to choose BJP presidents such as L K Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, and JP Nadda.

Kharge also addressed Pradesh Congress Committee members during the visit.

(With agency inputs)

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