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Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi (Photo/ANI)
Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi (Photo/ANI)

Mallikarjun Kharge will inspire the party as President: Sonia Gandhi

ANI | Updated: Oct 26, 2022 11:53 IST

New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday congratulated Mallikarjun Kharge, who took over as a party chief, and said that he would inspire the party as President.
"I extend my heartiest congratulations to the newly elected president Mallikarjun Kharge. Change is the rule of the world... Congress had faced a lot of difficulties earlier as well. But I am sure we will overcome the problems," said the outgoing Congress president.
Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge officially took charge as the party president at the All India Congress Committee headquarters in the national capital today.
Lauding Kharge, Sonia Gandhi said she is satisfied that the President whom the party have chosen is an experienced leader and a leader connected to the earth.
"I have full faith that Kharge ji will inspire the entire party. Congress will be strengthened under his leadership. I am very happy and the most satisfaction is that the president whom you have chosen at your own discretion, is an experienced leader, a leader connected to the earth, who has reached this height from an ordinary worker with his hard work and dedication," says Sonia Gandhi at the presentation," she said.
Thanking all the party leaders and workers, she said that it is a matter of pride for her that she received love and respect for so many years.
"It is a matter of pride for me that you have showered love and respect for so many years. I will feel this till the last breath of my life," Sonia Gandhi added.
"Congress presidency was a huge responsibility and I tried to discharge to my duties with sincerity and to the best of my ability. Feeling relieved as will be free from this responsibility," said Sonia Gandhi.
Congress Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry handed over the certificate of election to the top post and said that he hopes that other parties will draw a lesson from the Congress and hold polls for party presidency by secret ballot.
"I hope other parties draw a lesson from the Congress and hold polls for the presidency by secret ballot," said Mistry.
Sonia Gandhi, MP Rahul Gandhi and party's General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with other senior leaders and MPs were present on the occasion.
Ahead of the event at the Congress headquarters today, Kharge met former prime minister Manmohan Singh at his home yesterday. This morning, he paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial, Rajghat. He also visited memorials of former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, besides former deputy PM Jagjivan Ram.
Kharge, who was elected the first Congress chief outside the Nehru-Gandhi family in 24 years, has his task cut out as the party faces several electoral and organisational challenges.
A man of vast organisational and administrative experience, Kharge entered the electoral fray for the party's top post after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot opted against contesting.
Kharge, 80, was seen as the "establishment's candidate" against Shashi Tharoor and polled 7,897 votes against 1072 received by his rival.
A leader who has risen from the grassroots, Kharge belongs to the Dalit community and will the second leader from Karnataka to hold the top party post after S Nijalingappa became the Congress president in 1968.
In over five decades of experience in active politics, Kharge has been a union minister, Congress leader in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and has held several portfolios in Karnataka where he was MLA nine times. (ANI)