Mallikarjun Kharge resigns as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha
After filing his nomination for the presidential polls of Congress on Friday, veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge submitted his resignation as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Rajya Sabha on Saturday, reported India Today. This is in adherence to the party's Udaipur declaration of one person, one post. It is speculated that P Chidambaram or Digvijaya Singh could succeed Kharge as LoP.
Why does this story matter?
- The grand old party is set to hold its presidential election on October 17 and witness a non-Gandhi leader at its helm.
- After Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the contest after a political rebellion within the state, the competition is now between Shashi Tharoor, Kharge and KN Tripathi.
- Kharge is the most likely candidate with the backing of G-23 leaders as well.
Kharge sent his resignation to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi
Congress president polls: Mallikarjun Kharge resigns as LoP Rajya Sabha in line with party's One Leader One Post' resolution— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) October 1, 2022
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Kharge filed 14 forms, Tharoor 5, Tripathi 1
Congress' Central Election Authority chairperson Madhusudan Mistry on Friday said that Kharge had submitted 14 forms, Tharoor five and Tripathi one. Dispelling aspersions, he said that none of the contestants was an official candidate of the party and Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has said that she would stay neutral and whoever claiming to have her blessings is incorrect.
Kharge could be 2nd Dalit Congress chief
Kharge (80) could be the second Dalit chief of the party after Babu Jagjivan Ram, who held the top post from 1970-71. Known in Karnataka as solillada saradara, a warrior who knows no defeat, he could also be the second from the state to hold the office after S Nijalingappa who helmed the party from 1968-69. Kharge is the son of a mill worker.
Kharge represents status quo, I bat for change: Tharoor
Some G-23 leaders of the Congress — who pushed for internal reforms — including Prithviraj Chavan, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and Manish Tewari have reportedly backed Kharge instead of Tharoor, who was also among the G-23. Tharoor said that Kharge represented the status quo, while he claimed to be the change that ordinary party workers want. The last date for withdrawing nominations is October 8.
'Not an official candidate'
Earlier, Madhya Pradesh Congress stalwart Digvijaya Singh withdrew his nomination to make way for Kharge, who he addressed as his senior. Kharge — an MP from Gulbarga, Karnataka — is considered a loyalist and close to all three Gandhis — Sonia, Rahul, and Priyanka. He is said to be the official candidate of the Gandhis, although the party has categorically denied that.