Constitution, parliamentary democracy in danger; we will emerge stronger when we sort out differences: Kharge

New Delhi, November 29 (IANS); Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday said that both the Constitution and parliamentary democracy were in danger in the country.

He said this was because the people, who were in power, were those who do not believe in the Constitution, India’s flag, parliamentary democracy of governance and they were waiting for the right time to change all these things and bring their own Constitution.

Speaking at the launch of a book on his 50 years in politics, Kharge said, “This is a very happy and emotional event for me. I entered the Karnataka Assembly in 1972 and I completed 50 years in politics last year.”

Apart from Kharge, Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, RJD leader Manoj Jha, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury were also present during the book launch.

He said that the book was to be released last year but due to various reasons it kept getting delayed and “we have gathered here today for its release by Sonia Gandhi.”

He also thanked Sukhdev Thorat and Chetan Shinde for putting their hard work into the book.

Kharge said leaders from all parties had written very warm messages for him in the book.

“Even if I do not agree with them ideologically or politically, on a personal basis I wish them all well too. But I also cannot ignore that today both the Constitution and parliamentary democracy are in danger in our country.

“It is because the people who are in power are those who do not believe in our Constitution, our flag our parliamentary democracy of governance and they are waiting for the right time to change all these things and bring their own Constitution,” Kharge, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said.

“I have seen many challenges to the country over the last 50 years and the country has tried to address those challenges and will continue to overcome new challenges. To emerge stronger, it will happen only when we are able to sort out our differences and come together boldly,” he said.

Recalling the hard work of the book’s authors, Kharge said, “They spent many hours, each time to come to Delhi to record my views. I would like to thank them for the love and affection they have shown to me through this book. I would like to thank all the people who have written for me in this book.”

Recalling his journey, the Congress leader said, “What I have been able to contribute to the people of my constituency, my state, my country is because of the faith shown in me by the voters and by the party leaders when I was chosen to contest at an age of 29 years.”

He said that the Congress recognised that “I was someone who would fight for the poor, labour class, Dalits and other weaker section and marginalised section of the society.

“I was given the opportunity to serve as Minister in my very first term as MLA by Indira Gandhi as she too recognised that I can serve the state better. She gave me portfolio of minister for education.”

He added, “From being an ordinary worker I could reach this position. It is because of democracy and the Constitution which protects democracy. Without this Constitution there would not be democracy in the country. Without democracy there would be no opportunity for ordinary people to gain political and social rights in our country.”