‘Just what Congress needs for revival,’ BJP in jab at Kharge’s last minute entry for party poll
Quick to react to the new development, the BJP on Friday took a dig at the Congress after Kharge emerged as the favourite to win the poll for party chief, with its leaders suggesting that he will be a “proxy” and may also be “remote-controlled” by the Gandhi family
New Delhi: Rajya Sabha member and veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday filed his nomination papers to contest the organizational polls of the Congress and said he had been connected to the ideology of the party from his adolescence. But despite being a respected politician, Kharge could not avoid pointed barbs from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) amid high drama that marked his last minute entry into the presidential fray.
Soon after filing his nomination at the AICC headquarters in the national capital, Kharge said, “I have been connected to the ideology of the Congress since my childhood, used to campaign for the same Gandhi-Nehru ideology when I was in classes 8th, 9th.”
Quick to react to the new development, the BJP on Friday took a dig at the Congress after Kharge emerged as the favourite to win the poll for party chief, with its leaders suggesting that he will be a “proxy” and may also be “remote-controlled” by the Gandhi family.
“Mallikarjun Kharge at 80 is an inspiring choice for the Congress. He is young, energetic and just what the Congress needed to ensure its revival. He should just pick Dr Manmohan Singh’s manual on ‘Living by the Remote Control’ and it is all sorted,” BJP IT department head Amit Malviya said in a tweet.
Another tweet by BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla read, “After (Rajasthan chief minister Ashok) Gehlot lost favour with Parivar (Gandhis), now 80-year-old Mallikarjun Kharge ji becomes the chosen remote controlled ‘proxy’ candidate, who is projected as an ‘official candidate’, contrast his nomination with Tharoor’s lacklustre one. Isn’t it clear the match is fixed for Kharge?”
Taking the criticism into his stride, the seasoned politician thanked all those who had supported his last-minute candidature and said that he was contesting to bring in huge changes within the party. Touted as the nominee who was the official choice of the Congress top brass as opposed to Shashi Tharoor, Kharge appealed to all Congress delegates to vote for him.
“All leaders, workers, delegates and ministers who came out in support of me today, encouraged me, I thank them. We’ll see what the results are, on 17th October; hopeful that I win,” he told reporters outside the All India Congress Committee headquarters in New Delhi after filing his nomination.
In a surprise move, his candidature has also been supported by G23 leaders Anand Sharma and Manish Tewari, who it is believed are normally opposed to Gandhi family loyalists. Congress old-timers like Ashok Gehlot, Digvijaya Singh, Pramod Tiwari, PL Punia, AK Antony, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mukul Wasnik have all supported Kharge for the top job after Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Digvijay chief both backed out of the race on the last day of filing nominations.
Friday is the last day for filing nominations for the top party post, polls for which will be held on 17 October. The results will be declared on 19 October after counting of votes at the AICC headquarters.
Watch: Rajnath Singh lambasts Congress chief Kharge for insulting PM Modi, says it reflects entire Congress' mindset
"Congress is using inappropriate words. Using inappropriate words isn't a sign of healthy politics. Words used by Congress chief Kharge for PM isn't only his mentality but result of entire Congress's mentality," Rajanth Singh said
Kharge questioned whether any leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had fought for the freedom of the country
The first meeting of the Congress steering committee constituted by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge will be held here on Sunday to decide the schedule and venue for its plenary session besides holding discussions on organisational matters.