Some Congress leaders 'running towards' BJP as they fear ED and Modi, says party chief Kharge

08:34 AM Feb 21, 2024 | PTI |

Bidar: Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday said some of the leaders who benefitted from the party and became ministers and chief ministers are ”running towards” the BJP, fearing the Enforcement Directorate and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


He attributed Congress’s loss of elected governments in several states to the BJP because some people who got elected from his party lacked a strong belief in principles. ”Support the principles you believe in… Those who were in Congress, benefitted from Congress, became minister, chief minister…are running towards BJP, who is scaring them. ED is scaring them, Modi is scaring. ”In several states where we got elected, they dislodged or pulled down our government because the people whom we elect don’t have strong belief in principles,” Kharge said.

Addressing a public meeting in Bidar, the district where he was born, Kharge said blamed the loss of its governments in Karnataka in the past, and Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Goa in more recent times, on this reason.

”Some with desire for money, some with desire for power and some citing differences with someone else within the party (leave Congress to join BJP). …those who don’t have courage cannot be successful,” he added.

These comments from the AICC president have come at a time when several Congress leaders are quitting the party to join other outfits, especially the BJP, and there are speculations about more leaders jumping ship.


Karnataka Minister Eshwar Khandre and several other Congress leaders were among those present at the event.

Speaking about his recent conversation with Prime Minister Modi at a tea meeting hosted at the Rajya Chairman’s office, Kharge said, ”I asked Modi how many more people will you take into your party? Hasn’t your stomach filled yet? ”Deve Gowda (former PM) is 91 years old, yet he was also not spared. He (Gowda) used to claim that he was secular, but you (Modi) didn’t spare him either (referring to the BJP-JDS alliance). What ‘aushadhi’ (medicine) do you have to lure people to your side?” He added, ”He (Modi) said people are coming (towards BJP), what can I do? I said they come because you have ‘goli’ (tablets-medicine) of ED, Income Tax, CVC and the ‘goli’ of destroying people. So they are coming out of fear.” The Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka commented that people are not fools. ”They can be fooled once or twice, but not thrice. They will decide what they have to do after analysing once or twice.” Stating that the target for the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls is huge, Kharge called on the people to ensure the party’s victory and said it would be their true felicitation of him for his long public service and his efforts in getting Article 371 J (a special status for the backward districts of Kalyana Karnataka region) added to the Constitution of India.

Seeking the cooperation of the people in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the AICC chief warned: ”If not, democracy and the Constitution will not survive in this country.” The Modi government is working towards destroying the democratic set up and distorting the constitution, he cautioned.

”Bodies that have to function in accordance with the constitution, like Election Commission, Income Tax Department, ED are controlled by RSS, BJP and Modi. Same is the case with media; media owners are in the hands of the rich,” Kharge added. The Congress chief said that while boarding a special flight on Monday he happened to meet Gautam Adani, Chairperson of the Adani Group. ”He (Adani) asked us not to abuse him and tried to assure us that he is with us”.

”I said we will support those who do good, but will not spare those who loot public money, because it is a matter of our principles’,” he added. Hitting out at Modi and the BJP, Kharge claimed that they fear the Congress as the party has certain strength and public support. ”You say Congress is zero, then why are you behind Congress? We have certain strength, that’s the reason you fear us. You fear because people are with us and support our good work,” he said, alleging that the BJP and the RSS want to bring in ”Manuwad” in the country once again, which the Congress is fighting to stop.


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