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This article was first published 1 year ago  » News » Here's why Kharge stayed away from Bharat Jodo Yatra

Here's why Kharge stayed away from Bharat Jodo Yatra

Source: PTI
October 10, 2022 22:37 IST
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Congress's presidential poll candidate Mallikarjun Kharge has stayed away from participating in the Bharat Jodo Yatra in his home state of Karnataka alongside Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as the party is keen on underlining the impartiality in the election to the top post, sources said on Monday.

IMAGE: Congress presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge. Photograph: ANI Photo

Though Kharge's electoral competitor Shashi Tharoor has also said the Gandhi family was neither biased towards his opponent nor him, there has been criticism from various quarters that Kharge is the 'official candidate' in the upcoming poll and has the blessings of the top Congress leadership.


Responding to Tharoor's remarks during an interview given to a television channel that there are some aspects that suggest an uneven playing field, the sources in the Congress said Kharge did not participate in the yatra when it entered Karnataka as he had already filed his nomination papers for the October 17 poll and walking along with party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi would have conveyed a message that he enjoys the top leadership's support.

Kharge, 80, was in Mandya district of Karnataka on October 6 when Sonia Gandhi participated in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, but still did not take part in the foot march, the sources said.

He is also unlikely to be present at a public rally the Congress will hold in Karnataka's Bellary on October 15, they added.

Kharge or Tharoor, whoever is elected as the new Congress president, could join the Yatra on October 20.

The results of the election are scheduled to be declared on October 19.

Replying to queries at a press conference during the Bharat Jodo Yatra last week, Rahul Gandhi had dismissed claims that the next Congress president would be 'remote-controlled' by his family, saying both the contenders -- Kharge and Tharoor -- are people of stature and understanding and to make such a suggestion was insulting for them.

Asked about the scepticism in certain quarters that the next Congress president could be remote-controlled by the Gandhi family, the former party chief said, "Both the people who are standing (in the poll) have a position, have a perspective and are people of stature and people of understanding."

"I don't think either of them is going to be a remote control (chief) and frankly, this tone is insulting for both of them."

Asked why he did not contest the poll, Rahul Gandhi said the reasons were mentioned in his resignation letter when he quit the party chief's post in 2019.

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