80-year-old Kharge, who belongs to Karnataka’s Dalit community, defeated his opponent 66-year-old Tharoor in the historic elections held on October 17. For the sixth time in the party’s 137-year history, the election was held for the post of president. After 24 years, someone outside the Gandhi family has become the president of the Congress.
Kharge will face several challenges to strengthen the party ahead of the 2024 general elections.
A major challenge for the Congress is its hopes of doing better in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls, while in-party tensions in Rajasthan and Karnataka have added to the party’s woes. In such a situation, uniting the party before the 2024 general elections will be a big challenge for Kharge.
Some things are also being seen in favor of Kharge, who took the top post of the party after defeating Shashi Tharoor. Kharge’s image has been to take everyone along and this quality of his can prove to be very beneficial for him moving forward from here.
A few weeks after Kharge takes office, the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a strong hold, will be his first challenge.
At present, only two states, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, have the Congress government.
The test is followed by assembly elections in nine states in 2023, including his home state of Karnataka.
The generational divide in the party is also a challenge and they will have to strike a balance between experienced leaders and the youth. Not only this, he will also have to face the challenge of disproving the Gandhi family’s concept of ‘remote control’.
A challenge before him will be to implement the ‘Udaipur Navsankalp’ and not upset anyone while keeping all the equations in mind in his new team.