Kharge Best Suited To Lead Congress In Battle For India's Soul, Says Sonia Gandhi

Kharge in his speech said he hopes that all parties will continue to stay together and fight the election unitedly.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. (Photo: Karnataka Congress/X)</p></div>
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. (Photo: Karnataka Congress/X)

Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said Mallikarjun Kharge is "best suited" to lead the Congress party in the "historic battle for India's soul", while leaders of some INDIA bloc parties urged him to bring strength to the opposition and lead it to victory in next year's general elections.

Opposition leaders used the occasion of a book launch on Kharge's completion of 50 years in electoral politics to assert that the Congress president should lead all opposition parties together so that they can win the 2024 elections.

DMK's TR Baalu, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury and RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha were among those who hailed Kharge's leadership and called upon the opposition parties to give up their differences.

"As a strong organisational leader, who enjoys our confidence, Shri Mallikarjun Kharge is best suited to lead the Congress party in this historic battle for India's soul."

"In this, he has my steadfast support and that of the Congress party," Sonia Gandhi said at the function, while launching the book 'Mallikarjun Kharge— Political Engagement with Compassion, Justice and Inclusive Development'.

Baalu said the DMK will extend all its support to the Congress which has a high stature in the minds of the Indian public and this needed to be nourished not only till 2024 but later too, as he urged Kharge to lead all opposition parties together to ensure their victory.

Yechury said while efforts are being made to bring all opposition parties together, Kharge has a big responsibility to take them forward together, while shedding their differences, and ensure victory in Lok Sabha polls.

"It is not just my party, but the entire India wants that," the Left leader said.

Kharge in his speech said he hopes that all parties will continue to stay together and fight the election unitedly.

He said he cannot ignore that both the Constitution and Parliamentary democracy are in danger in the country today.

He lamented that this is because the people who are in power "do not believe in our Constitution, our flag, or the parliamentary democracy of government. They have said they are waiting for the right time to change all of these".

"I have seen many challenges to the country over the last 50 years. The country has tried to address those challenges and will continue to overcome new challenges to emerge stronger. It will happen only when we are able to sort out our differences and come together."

"On this occasion, I would like to say that I hope that we will continue to stay united and fight unitedly," the Congress chief said in his brief speech.

Describing Kharge as a pillar of strength, Sonia Gandhi said in his 50 years in politics he did not just survive its unpredictable course but continued to rise higher and higher throughout his political career.

"Not only did Kharge ji not compromise on his ideology, but not once did he drift away from the cause of the poor."

"Not once did he compromise dignity and conduct to win political battles. That is why today Kharge ji stands tall as the Congress president of the Indian National Congress. His illustrious life and work exemplify the values that the founders and architects of modern India espoused," the former Congress president said.

Embodying the indomitable Indian spirit, he has overcome multiple adversities in his long journey.

"Leading by example, he symbolises the belief that no matter who you are or where you come from, you could rise to ever greater heights in the service of the nation. That is and will continue to be an inspiration to millions of Indians drawn to be in public service," Gandhi said.

Top Congress leaders including chief ministers of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh—Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel and Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu—were present at the event besides party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.