Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is fighting the party’s presidential polls, on Wednesday did not give a direct answer to a question about whether he or Rahul Gandhi will be the party’s prime ministerial candidate in 2024 Lok Sabha polls and gave a bizarre response to describe his situation, saying, “Bakrid mein bachenge toh Muharram mein nachenge”.
“I am contesting the organisational election. There is a saying ‘Bakrid mein bachenge toh Muharram mein nachenge’. First, let these elections get over and let me become president, then we will see,” Kharge said at a press conference held at PCC office here. Kharge was asked if he or Rahul Gandhi will be the “PM face” in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Kharge, who tendered resignation as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha to contest the party’s presidential poll, is facing contest from party MP Shashi Tharoor.
Kharge met Congress delegates and appealed to them to vote in his favour. The Congress leader also said he believes in collective leadership.
Kharge said when Gandhi family members did not agree to become president of the party in the presidential elections, he entered the fray on request of party workers and senior leaders.
He promised to implement the party’s Udaipur Declaration.
“After I am elected as the party chief, I will work to implement every point of the Udaipur Declaration.”
“The decisions were taken only four months ago. The decisions taken in chintan shivir were decided after contemplation. I believe in collective leadership. I will take decisions together with everyone,” he said.
He said the Congress will fight for people’s rights and added that he was in the fray against Shashi Tharoor only till the organisational elections, “but there is no difference between us”.
“Both of us will fight together against BJP,” he said.
Kharge said the Congress came to power in six states under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi and accused the BJP of destabalising party-led governments and “stealing MLAs”.
“On one hand, they say Congress does not have a mass base and they buy MLAs of the elected government of Congress,” he alleged.
Kharge, 80, said thinking and ideology is needed in the party’s organisational contest and age is not a factor.
On Tuesday, the veteran leader had clarified that his name was not suggested by the part’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi.
“Sonia Gandhi suggesting my name for the president position is all a rumour, I have never said this. She has clearly stated that anyone from the Gandhi family will neither be a part of the election nor support any candidate,” Kharge had said.