President of the Indian National Congress
Shri Mallikarjun Kharge began his political journey as a student leader in Kalaburgi, Karnataka. He joined the Congress Party and was first appointed as President of Gulbarga City Congress in 1969. He served as MLA in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly for an undefeated nine consecutive terms from 1972 to 2009. He has been a Parliamentarian since 2009 and served as Union Minister, Leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha and the Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha. He has now been elected as the President of the All India Congress Committee in October of 2022.
He served as the President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee in 2006 and was chosen to be the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party and Leader of the Opposition twice in Karnataka, once in 1994 and second time in 2008. He has held critical ministerial portfolios such as Education, Revenue, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Cooperation, Industries, Infrastructure Development, Water Resources, Irrigation, Transport and Home. In each of his terms as a Minister, he implemented several changes which aided in the development of the State and upliftment of all sections of society.
Shri Mallikarjun Kharge was first elected to Parliament in 2009 and has served as a Labour Minister, Minister for Railways and for Social Justice and Empowerment. His contribution towards the insertion of Article 371J for the development of the Kalyan Karnataka Region is most well known and appreciated in Karnataka. In 2014, he was re-elected to the Lok Sabha and he was the Leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha. In 2020, he was elected as a Member of the Rajya Sabha and was appointed as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha in 2021.
From the beginning of his career, his goal has always been to work for the upliftment of people and ensure equal opportunities for all irrespective of caste, creed and faith. He has been a strong believer in the role of education towards upliftment of the weaker sections of the society. He has patronised the development of several educational institutions in his home state of Karnataka. This is a testament to his commitment to bring change and ensure the empowerment of all in society.
He is a strong believer in Buddhist philosophy and has been the guiding force to building the Buddha Vihara in Kalaburgi, Karnataka. It is one of the largest viharas in South Asia and is now a major pilgrimage centre for people from across the country.
A lawyer by education and an avid reader, he takes a keen interest in reading about matters of constitutional law, current affairs and history.