Mallikarjun Kharge thanks party workers for electing him Congress President
Veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge who formally took charge as Congress President on Wednesday thanked all party workers and leaders for electing him for the top post and said that he will work to protect the country from "politics of lies and deceit".
Addressing the party leaders on the occasion, Kharge said: "Emotional moment for me, want to thank Congress people for making a worker's son, an ordinary worker, the president of Congress. It is a matter of pride to carry forward the legacy of the Congress."
Kharge was today handed over the certificate of election to the top post at a function at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in the national capital.
The 80-year-old Congress veteran said that it was a matter of privilege and pride for him to handle the responsibility as a party which was led by leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose.
"I started this journey in 1969 as a block committee chief today you have taken it to such heights. It is my privilege and pride to take forward the legacy of Congress. The great political party which was led by Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose, Patel, Maulana Azad, Babu Jagjivan Ram, Indiraji, Rajivji. It is a matter of privilege and pride for me to handle that responsibility," Kharge said.
"As president, it will be my utmost duty to look after our workers. Together, we will build an India that will be enlightened, empowered and equal for every citizen. We will uphold the Constitution of this country, respect everyone's rights and give equal opportunities, defeat those who spread hate, and fight inflation, unemployment and hunger," the party president added.
The first non-Gandhi to head the party in 24 years, Kharge who pipped Thiruvanthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor to the president's post hailed the outgoing president Sonia Gandhi.
"It was on January 15, 1998, in Bengaluru when Sonia ji at her first public rally said she was taking her first political lessons from Karnataka. Her politics has been that of sacrifice and above self-interest and quest for power. Sonia ji always walks on the path of truth. In this era of politicians doing politics only for power, she has set an example of sacrifice, it is difficult to find any other person like her," Kharge said.
He also spoke about the party's Udaipur Declaration and said, "We decided at the Udaipur 'Chintan Shivir' to reserve 50 per cent of the party structure for those below 50 years of age. We will move forward with that, with support from all of you," he said.
Speaking about the upcoming elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, Kharge said that people want change in these states. "We will have to show our party's strength in these elections. If we all work hard and with dedication, we will achieve success. We are the soldiers of Mahatma Gandhi. We are not scared of anyone. When a Congress worker will get rid of his fear, then even the biggest of kingdoms will be defeated."
The new Congress Chief said that the contribution of the Congress party in the making of modern India is unmatched.
He further said that it is a difficult time and efforts are being made to change the democracy established by Congress.
"Now our country is seeing politics of lies and deceit. Congress will break the circle of lies and hatred prevailing in the country. Congress's ideology is based on India's Constitution and the people of the country believe in it, thousands of people, who are not formally connected with the Congress but want to save democracy and as a Congress President I appeal to those people not aligned with the party but want to save democracy to join hands," he added.
Targeting the BJP government at the Centre, the new Congress President said, "To make a new India, they want Congress-free India as they know that as long as Congress is there, they can't do it. We will not let it happen and will continue to fight against it."
He said that the government is sleeping and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax (IT) are working 24 hours.
"In New India, hunger, and pollution is increasing but the Rupee is falling. The government is sleeping but CBI, ED, and IT are working 24 hours. In new India, Godse is called a patriot and Mahatma Gandhi is an anti-national. They want to bring the constitution of RSS," said Kharge.
Kharge hailed Rahul Gandhi for embarking on Bharat Jodo Yatra stating that it is filling the country with new energy.
"Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, is a historic move. He is speaking to people directly and understanding their sorrow and pain. He is gathering people who may not be with us formally, but want an India that's not divided on communal lines. It is my duty to take that agenda forward," he said.
He further remembered all the past party chiefs of the party and sought support of every party worker to take on the challenges.
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