NEW DELHI: Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday took charge as the president of the Congress party. He is the first non-Gandhi party president in over two decades. The 80-year-old leader, known to be a Gandhi loyalist, vowed he would break what he called the circle of lies and hate prevailing in the country. He also promised the workers to implement the Udaipur Declaration made earlier this year to revive the beleaguered Congress. "Congress will break the circle of lies and hatred prevailing in the country," he added.
He said he would implement the decision taken in Udaipur to give 50 percent of Congress posts to those below the age of 50.
"I know it is a difficult time, efforts are being made to change democracy established by Congress," he alleged.
Sonia Gandhi, the former interim president of the Congress, said Kharge would be inspirational as the president of the party.
"I extend my heartiest congratulations to the newly elected president Mallikarjun Kharge. Change is the rule of the world... Congress had faced a lot of difficulties earlier as well. But I am sure we will overcome the problems," said the outgoing Gandhi.
"I have full faith that Kharge ji will inspire the entire party. Congress will be strengthened under his leadership. I am very happy and the most satisfaction is that the president whom you have chosen at your own discretion, is an experienced leader, a leader connected to the earth, who has reached this height from an ordinary worker with his hard work and dedication," says Sonia Gandhi at the presentation," she added.
Kharge defeated Shashi Tharoor with a massive margin in the recently concluded polls.
Kharge is the second leader from Karnataka to become the Congress chief after S Nijalingappa (1968).