Veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge formally took over as Congress president on Wednesday and said the party will break the “system of lies and hatred” prevailing under the current government.
Kharge, the first non-Gandhi to head the party in 24 years, had defeated Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor in a direct contest for the president’s post in the grand old party after the Gandhis opted out of the race.
Speaking at the event after he was handed over the certificate of election to the top post at a function at the AICC headquarters here, Kharge said it was an emotional moment for him and he would like to thank Congress people for making a worker’s son and an ordinary worker, president of the party.
“I know it is a difficult time, efforts are being made to change democracy established by Congress,” the 80-year-old leader said after taking over as party chief.
“The Congress will break this system of lies and hatred that is prevailing in the country,” he said.
Kharge also hailed Rahul Gandhi for embarking on the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which, he said, is filling the country with a new energy.
47-member steering committee formed
Hours after taking charge as the new Congress President, Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday constituted a 47-member Steering Committee, which will replace the current Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making authority. The Steering Committee, headed by Kharge, will take the place of the apex decision-making body until a new CWC is formed.
Bigwigs of the Congress, including Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi are among the leaders of the newly formed committee. Other members of the panel include Priyanka Gandhi, P Chidambaram, Randeep Surjewala, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, AK Antony, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Ajay Maken and others. It is worth noting that Congress Thiruvananthapuram MP and Kharge’s Opponent in the Presidential polls, Shashi Tharoor, has not been included in the list.