Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday said he is contesting the election for the party president’s post “to fight against the BJP and the RSS”.Kharge said the situation prevailing in the country is “worrisome” and accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “weakening” autonomous bodies, such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the income tax department.
“I want to contest the party’s presidential poll because the condition in the country is worrisome. The BJP is weakening autonomous bodies like the CBI, the ED and the IT department. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and (Union Home Minister Amit) Shah do politics in a manner that there is no place for democracy in the country. Hence, on the recommendation of the delegates, I am fighting the polls,” the veteran leader said.
He said he has received “help and support” from senior leaders and state representatives of the party. “I was the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, but I stepped down as I wanted to fight the poll. Abiding by our Udaipur declaration — one leader can hold only one position — I decided to step down as the LoP,” the former Union minister said.Kharge met the Delhi Congress delegates to seek their support in the October 17 poll at the party office at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg here on Sunday.He resigned as the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha on October 1, a day after he filed his nomination papers for the Congress presidential poll.Kharge’s resignation is in line with the party’s declared “one person, one post” principle that was announced at the Udaipur “Chintan Shivir” in May.
Flanked by top Congress leaders, Kharge had filed 14 sets of nomination papers, with his proposers including Ashok Gehlot, Digvijay Singh, A K Antony, Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik and members of the “Group of 23” Anand Sharma, Bhupinder Hooda, Prithviraj Chavan and Manish Tewari.The election for the Congress president’s post will be held on October 17 and the counting of the votes is scheduled for October 19.