Kharge: No plans to retire, will accept any role high command assigns

Kharge: No plans to retire, will accept any role high command assigns

MP and Congress Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge gestures during Press Meet at Congress Office in Kalaburagi on Wednesday. - Photo/ Prashanth HG

Congress veteran M Mallikarjun Kharge has indicated that he has no plans to retire from politics for now and that he would accept any role assigned by the party central leadership.

His comments ahead of the Assembly elections assume significance as the Congress has not named a chief ministerial candidate even though it has projected incumbent Siddaramaiah as the face of its campaign. The party has been maintaining that the issue of chief ministership would be dealt with later.

“Let me see, everybody’s fate is in the hands of people, and people are our masters and even I believe people are our God in democracy,” the 75-year-old former Union Minister told PTI when asked if he has any retirement plans.

He also indicated that he would contest the next year’s Lok Sabha elections. Presently, the Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha, Kharge lost out to Siddaramaiah in the race to chief ministership in 2013.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his campaign here, the Lok Sabha constituency of Kharge, attacked the Congress for ‘sidelining’ the Dalit leader and chosing Siddaramaiah to head the government in 2013.

Kharge said he had won 11 elections -- Lok Sabha and Assembly -- in his political career so far. “As long as people’s blessings are there...if people bless me, I will contest next (Lok Sabha) election or whichever.. whatever high command says...that I will do,” he said.