For ‘Soleilda Sardar’ Kharge, Karnataka Win Signals Shift in Perception Battle, as Congress Chief Stamps Authority

The Karnataka story is crucial and significant for the Kharge factor as the veteran leader holds the fort in his bastion of Kalaburagi. (Twitter @Kharge)

This is Mallikarjun Kharge’s first major election as Karnataka Congress President and while many have rushed to take credit for it, Kharge needs this win to show he can make decisions

karnataka election 2023

In Congress, top posts don’t mean you win the battle of perception. For the 10 years Dr. Manmohan Singh was in his role, he had to contend with the perception of a weak prime minister, controlled by remote from the Gandhi family. This, despite the fact that his 2009 return as prime minister earned him the ‘Singh is King’ tag with his tough stand on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Today, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge is also facing similar allegations from the BJP and there is a perception in the party that this is not his but the Gandhi family’s last word. This is why the Karnataka story is significant and significant for Kharge as the veteran leader is holding the fort in his bastion of Kalaburagi.

Humble background for top position

Kharge always had a political instinct, though his beginnings were anything but political. Kharge, who worked in theater while studying law, focused on fighting the cause of the workers. A sports lover, the seasoned warrior never gave up. Hence, it comes as no surprise that he has contested 12 elections, losing only once.

However, the post of chief minister from his home state has eluded him – not once but thrice. All three times, the man called ‘Soleilda Sardar’ – a warrior who knows no defeat – had to give way to SM Krishna, Dharam Singh and Siddaramaiah.

In the Karnataka elections, Kharge has been one of the most aggressive faces of the party. In fact, he used his humble origins and Dalit tag to hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. When his ‘poisonous snake’ remark was lashed out by the BJP and the Prime Minister, Kharge was able to quash it effectively and immediately. Hitting back at PM’s chai wala narrative, Kharge said that no one would accept even a cup of tea from him.

That is why the state win is important to prove his mettle to the party and critics and to show that he has mastered his home state. This is also his first major election as Congress President and with many rushing to take credit for it, Kharge needs this win to show that he can take decisions.

To the crucial question of how he felt he could never become the chief minister, he replied with a smile: “When I can decide who will become the chief minister, why should I worry?”