Mallikarjun Kharge turns down proposal to be INDIA alliance’s PM candidate

Mallikarjun Kharge
Mallikarjun Kharge

NEW DELHI: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has turned down suggestion about being the prime ministerial candidate of the INDIA bloc for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and said the issue will be decided later and their first priority is to try and get a majority by working together.

VCK parliamentarian Thol. Thirumavalavan told ANI after a meeting of INDIA bloc parties on Tuesday that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal proposed that Kharge should be the coordinator of the INDIA bloc and that he should be projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate in the Lok Sabha battle.

Kharge responded to the issue during an interaction with the media after the INDIA block meeting.

“First, all of us have to win, we should think about what needs to be done for victory. Who will be PM, this will be decided later. If there are less MPs, what is the point of talking about PM. First, to increase our numbers, (by) coming together, we will try to bring majority. First we will try to win,” he said.

Kharge also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah of arrogance after BJP won three of the five states where elections were held last month.

The VCK MP said that Kharge rejected the suggestion to be the prime ministerial face of the INDIA parties.

“Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal proposed that Mallikarjun Kharge must be the coordinator of this INDIA team and we will project him as the Prime Minister in the forthcoming elections. But Khargeji rejected this categorically. He said – no need for this suggestion, after the election only we can decide who is the PM. He immediately rejected this point,” Thirumavalavan told ANI.

However, Kerala Congress leader PJ Joseph said Mamata Banerjee did not take any names and said that it will be good if the alliance projects a “Dalit PM”.

“She did not suggest so. While she spoke, Mamata Banerjee said that it would be good if we could project a Dalit PM. She did not say the name of any person. The matter was not discussed much because she spoke last,” Joseph told ANI.

Kharge, a former union minister, belongs to the Dalit community.

The fourth meeting of the ‘Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc took place in the national capital on Friday and was attended by leaders from 28 parties.

Congress leader KC Venugopal told reporters after the meeting that the seat-sharing talks should start without delay and there is a proposal for “joint rallies” also.

The meeting was held in the backdrop of escalating tensions between the government and the opposition over the suspension of parliamentarians during the winter session of Parliament.

An unprecedented 141 MPs have been suspended in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for “misconduct”, most of them for the remainder of the winter session which concludes on December 22.

INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) parties are seeking to put a united challenge against the BJP-led NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The first meeting of the joint opposition convened in Patna on June 23 and the second meeting was held in Bengaluru on July 17-18. The third meeting happened in Mumbai on August 31-September 1.

In the Mumbai meeting, the opposition parties adopted resolutions to collectively contest the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections while announcing that seat-sharing arrangements would be finalized as soon as possible in a spirit of give-and-take. (ANI)

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