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10 things to know about Mallikarjun Kharge, the new Congress president

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New Delhi, Oct 19: Veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge, widely seen as the 'Gandhi-backed' candidate on Wednesday became the Congress president by defeating his 'friend Shashi Tharoor' by a huge margin.

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Kharge won 90 per cent of the votes cast on Monday. The 80-year-old leader amassed 7,897 votes while Shashi Tharoor finished with 1,072.

10 things to know about Mallikarjun Kharge, the new Congress president

He is the second Congress president from Karnataka after S Nijalingappa who became the president in 1968.

No surprises here: Mallikarjun Kharge is the new Cong chiefNo surprises here: Mallikarjun Kharge is the new Cong chief

Here are 10 things to know about Mallikarjun Kharge, the new Congress chief.

Mallikarjun Kharge
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Mallikarjun Kharge
  1. An average student academically, Kharge always had a taste for politics.
  2. Kharge is known as 'solilada sardara' which means a man who knows no defeat because of his electoral record.
  3. Of the 12 elections he has contested, Kharge lost only once - in 2019. He was elected to the Karnataka assembly nine times consecutively, between 1972 and 2008.
  4. A Dalit leader with more than 45 years of experience in politics, Kharge has seen a steady rise in his career graph from humble beginnings as a union leader in his home district of Gulbarga.
  5. A close aide of Gandhi family, Kharge has played multiple roles in different ministries that has enriched his experience as an administrator.
  6. He has also served as the leader of the opposition in Karnataka assembly and at the central level as also in the party where he had served as KPCC chief during 2008 assembly polls.
  7. Sober by temperament and nature, Kharge first tryst with the assembly was in 1972 when he won from Gurmitkal constituency and became a member of the Devaraj Urs government as Minister of State for Primary Education in 1976.
  8. The Dalit leader had eyed the Chief Minister's post but it has always eluded him, apparently because he carried the tag of a Janata Parivar man. Despite being top contender, Kharge missed chance in 1999, 2004 and 2013, to hold the top post.
  9. The veteran leader is also involved with various philaonthropic and social activities.
  10. Kharge is married to Radhabai and has three sons and two daughters.

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