It’s nice if Cong, JD(S) go together: Kharge

It’s nice if Cong, JD(S) go together: Kharge

Mallikarjun Kharge

Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday opined that the party should fight the upcoming bypolls together with the JD(S) as an alliance. 

This remark assumes significance at a time when both parties have been attacking each other, two months after the Congress-JD(S) coalition collapsed. 

“It’s nice if both parties would go together,” Kharge told reporters. “But since both have announced contesting the elections independently, I don’t want to speak differently on this.” 

Ballot papers

Kharge made a strong case for India to return to ballot papers, reiterating the Congress’ concern that the electronic voting machines (EVM) are vulnerable to misuse.   

“We want paper ballots so that there’s no doubt. In the entire world, paper ballots are used. Why is India the only exception? When voters and candidates have doubts, why not go back to paper ballots?,” he said. 

The former Union minister also hit out at the Election Commission for telling the Supreme Court that it had no objection with disqualified MLAs contesting the October 21 bypolls. “This looks like a set-up... I’ll pinch you and you pretend to cry. That’s why we have been saying from the beginning that the Centre is interfering with the autonomous bodies,” he said. 

‘Foreign policy violated’

Taking exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi supporting US President Donald Trump’s re-election, Kharge said it was a violation of India’s established foreign policy. “Our policy is that we don’t interfere with internal elections of any country. It’s up to Indian-Americans to choose whom they want to elect. But what message is Modi giving by saying ‘abki baar, Trump sarkar’? It means, vote for Trump and send your donations here,” he charged.

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