Kharge’s 3 tasks cut out

Mallikarjun Kharge

Rama Krishna Sangem

Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge officially took over as the party president in a simple ceremony at AICC headquarters in Delhi on October 26, Wednesday. This signals a new chapter in the 136 year old national party. From now, on Congress leaders across India don’t have to wait for appointments of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. They can directly meet Kharge, who is accessible to all.

Of course, still there will be some seniors who prefer to meet Sonia or Rahul and carry tales against those who are closer to Kharge or toe official line. This may lead to factionalism within the party. I am sure, this time, neither Sonia or Rahul will encourage such elements who try to wedge such a divide in the organisation. This happens in Congress, if we go by the past history. This is one of the tasks before Khrge.

Rahul who took a break from his Bharat Jodo Yatra in Telangana to be present at the charge taking event of Kharge said that his role will be decided by the party President. This is a big task of Kharge. Like all Congress seniors, Kharge too likes Rahul to play a major role in the party activities. Rahul will be projected as the party’s PM candidate for 2024 May elections.

But, that’s not enough. Kharge should market Rahul as PM material to other allies of UPA (does it exist?) – like Sharad Pawar, Stalin etc. Rahul as PM candidate is a proposition possible if only Congress crosses the mark of 100 or even 75 MPs in Lok Sabha. This is 2nd task before Kharge. If Congress gets 75-100 seats, while other allies get another 50- 75 is a daunting challenge to Kharge.


Assembly elections

We are not talking about Munugode assembly by-election in Telangana where Congress may lose its sitting MLA seat. The real challenge is other assembly elections – from Gujarat to Karnataka and then Telangana and Orissa.  Kharge will have to look for right strategies for these states where the local Congress leaders have lost appetite for political power.

If one goes by the ground scenario, Congress has better chances of winning Karnataka. Theoretically, it should also win Gujarat where the party is out of power for over two decades. But, what we hear from our media reports that Congress is not in a position to cash in on the long anti-incumbency against BJP in Gujarat. AAP is trying to occupy the space vacated by  Congress in Gujarat. Stopping AAP  march at the cost of Congress is 3rd task of Kharge.                  

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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