TRS can’t become national party by changing name: Kharge

Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday said that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) cannot become a national party by changing its name.

Kharge, a contender for the Congress party’s presidential elections, told reporters that several regional parties in the past changed their names to go national but nothing happened.

“ADMK became AIADMK, TMC became All India TMC. Did they become national parties,” he asked.

Kharge was talking to reporters at party headquarters Gandhi Bhavan here after his arrival in the city to campaign for the party’s presidential polls.

He also hit back at BJP leaders for ridiculing the presidential election of Congress party. He remarked that those who do not believe in democracy have no right to criticise the Congress party’s presidential poll.

The senior leader alleged that the BJP never conducted a presidential election. “Were Advani, Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, J. P. Nadda, Amit Shah and others elected as BJP presidents,” he asked.

Kharge termed the contest between him and Shashi Tharoor as the internal matter of the party.

Kharge alleged under the Narendra Modi government, India has seen a decline in all the sectors. He said Modi and Shah team has “destroyed” the country.

“They used to repeatedly ask us what we did in 70 years. We built dams and major irrigation projects. We built major public sector companies and they are selling all of them one after the other,” he said.

The unemployment has gone up to a record high during the BJP rule. He said crores of people have lost their jobs after Covid. He pointed out that the value of the rupee has dropped to an all-time low of 82.32 against dollar.

The Congress leader said during the Modi rule, the life of the common man has become miserable as there has been a steep hike in prices of essential commodities. The price of LPG cylinder which was Rs 416 during Congress rule has now gone up to Rs 1,100.

Kharge said the Modi government further added to the burden on common man by imposing GST on items like milk and even pencil and rubber.

Earlier, several Congress leaders accorded a warm welcome to Karge when he arrived at Begumpet Airport in the city. Kharge, who was accompanied by AICC secretary Sampath Kumar, was welcomed by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president A. Revanth Reddy, MP Uttam Kumar Reddy, senior leaders V. Hanumanth Rao and Ponnala Lakshmaiah.

After reaching Ganhi Pavan, Kharge met TPCC delegates and interacted with them.

The Congress presidential polls are scheduled to be held on October 17. The results will be declared on October 19.

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