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Mallikarjun Kharge

Mallikarjun Kharge
Leader of the Indian National Congress in the Lok Sabha
Assumed office
4 June 2014
Preceded by Sushilkumar Shinde
Minister of Railways
In office
17 June 2013 – 26 May 2014
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by CP Joshi
Succeeded by DV Sadananda Gowda
Minister of Labour and Employment
In office
29 May 2009 – 16 June 2013
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by Oscar Fernandes
Succeeded by Sis Ram Ola
Personal details
Born (1942-07-21) 21 July 1942
Warwatti, India
Political party Indian National Congress
Other political
United Progressive Alliance (2004–present)
Spouse(s) Radhabai Kharge
Alma mater Government College, Gulbarga
Seth Shankarlal Lahoti Law College
Religion Buddhism

Mapanna Mallikarjun Kharge (born 21 July 1942) is an Indian politician and the leader of the Indian National Congress party in the 16th Lok Sabha. He was the former Minister of Railways in the Government of India. Kharge is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC)[1] and has been a Member of Parliament for Gulbarga, Karnataka since 2009. He is a senior Karnataka politician and was the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly prior to contesting the 2014 General Elections. Prior to that he was the President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee during the 2008 Karnataka State Assembly Elections.

He has won elections for a record 10 consecutive times having won the Assembly elections for an unprecedented 9 consecutive times (1972, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2008,2009) and the recent 2014 General Elections from Gulbarga. Kharge is considered a competent leader with a clean public image and well versed in the dynamics of politics, legislation and administration.Mallikarjun Kharge has been nominated as the leader of the congress party in Lok Sabha against Narendra Modi lead NDA government.[2]


  • Early life and background 1
  • Political career 2
    • Early career 2.1
    • Political career 2.2
  • Philanthropic and Social Activities 3
  • Personal life 4
  • References 5

Early life and background

Mallikarjun Kharge was born in the Varwatti,(Humnabad Taluka Bidar District) Karnataka to Mapanna Kharge and Sabavva in a Dalit family.[3] He finished his schooling from Nutan Vidyalaya in Gulbarga and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Government College, Gulbarga and his Law degree from the Seth Shankarlal Lahoti Law College in Gulbarga.[3] He started his legal practise as a junior in Justice Shivraj Patil's office and fought cases for labour unions early in his legal career.[4]

Political career

Early career

Kharge started his political career as a student union leader while in the Government College, Gulbarga when he was elected as the General Secretary of the students' body. In 1969, he became the legal advisor to the MSK Mills Employees' Union. He was also an influential labour union leader of Samyukta Majdoor Sangha and led many agitations fighting for the rights of labourers.[5] In 1969, he joined the Indian National Congress and became President of the Gulbarga City Congress Committee

Political career

He first contested for the Karnataka State Assembly elections in 1972 and won from Gurmitkal constituency. In 1973, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Octroi Abolition Committee which went into the question of revitalising the economy of the municipal and civic bodies in the state of Karnataka. Based on its report, the then Devaraj Urs government abolished the levy of octroi at multiple points.[6] In 1974, he was appointed as the Chairman of state-owned Leather Development Corporation and worked to improve the living conditions of thousands of cobblers who were indulging in the leather tanning industry. Work sheds cum residences were built across the state for their benefit during this time. In 1976, he was appointed as the Minister of State for Primary Education, during which time, over 16,000 backlog vacancies of SC/STs teachers were filled up by recruiting them directly into the service. Grants under grant-in-aid code were given to schools run by SC/ST managements for the first time.[7]

In 1978, he was elected for the second time as MLA from Gurmitkal constituency and was appointed as Minister of State for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj in the Devaraj Urs ministry. In 1980, he became the Minister for Revenue in the Gundu Rao Cabinet. During this time, the focus was on effective land reforms, resulting in giving occupancy rights to millions of land-less tillers and labourers. More than 400 land tribunals were constituted to expedite the transfer of land rights to the tillers.[8] In 1983, he was elected for the third time to the Karnataka Assembly from Gurmitkal.In 1985, he was elected for the fourth time to the Karnataka Assembly from Gurmitkal and was appointed as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly.

In 1989, he was elected for the fifth time to the Karnataka Assembly from Gurmitkal. In 1990, he joined Bangarappa’s Cabinet as the Minister for Revenue, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, portfolios he had held earlier and brought about significant change. Restarting the Land Reforms process that had stopped in the interim, resulted in hundreds of thousands of acres of land being registered in the name of the landless tillers.[9]

Between 1992 and 1994, he was the Minister for Co-operation, Medium and Large Industries in the Veerappa Moily Cabinet. In 1994, he was elected for the sixth time to the Karnataka Assembly from Gurmitkal and became the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly. In 1999, he was elected for the seventh time to the Karnataka Assembly and was a front runner to the post of Chief Minister of Karnataka. He became Minister for Home in the S. M. Krishna Cabinet during a particularly trying time for Karnataka especially the Rajkumar kidnap by the notorious poacher Veerappan and the Cauvery Riots. In 2004, he was elected for the eighth consecutive time to the Karnataka Assembly and was once again considered a front runner to the post of the Chief Minister of Karnataka. He became the Minister for Transport and Water Resources in the Dharam Singh-led coalition government.

In 2005, he was appointed as the President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. In the Panchayat elections held soon after, Congress won the largest number of seats compared to BJP and JD(S) indicating a revival of the Congress fortunes in the rural areas of Karnataka.[10] In 2008, he was elected for the record ninth consecutive time to the Assembly from Chitapur. Though the Congress party put up a better show when compared to the 2004 elections, the Congress lost the elections with a majority of the senior leaders losing. He was appointed as the Leader of the Opposition for the second time in 2008. In 2009, Kharge contested the general elections from Gulbarga Parliamentary Constituency and won his tenth consecutive election.[11]

In the 2014 general elections, Kharge contested and won from the Gulbarga parliamentary seat, beating his closest rival from the BJP by over 73,000 votes.[12] In June, he was appointed as the Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha.[13]

Philanthropic and Social Activities

He is the Founder-Chairman of Siddharth Vihar Trust that has built the inspiring Buddha Vihar in Gulbarga, India.[14] The Buddhist Temple was inaugurated by the President of India on January 7, 2009.[15] The idol of Buddha was consecrated by The Dalai Lama on January 19, 2009 along with several religious leaders including the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Murugha Rajendra Sharanaru of Chitradurga, Chennamalla Swamiji of Manavdharma Peeta Nidumamidi, Robert Michel Miranda, the Bishop of Gulbarga, Sharanabasappa Appa of Sharanabasaveshwara Samsthana.[16][17]

He is the Patron of Chowdiah Memorial Hall which is one of the premier concert and theatre venues in Bangalore and helped the centre get over its debts and aided the centre’s plans for renovation.[18]

Personal life

Mallikarjun Kharge is married to Radhabai and has 5 children - 2 daughters and 3 sons.[3][19]


  1. ^ "Spectacular rise for Kharge". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  2. ^ "Team Manmohan". Indian Express. 
  3. ^ a b c "Detailed Profile".  
  4. ^ "Early life of Kharge". Press Journal Kharge. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Friends, teachers laud Kharge". Indian Express. 
  6. ^ "Kharge on octroi during 1973 period".  
  7. ^ "Early political career". Department of Parliamentary Affairs & Legislation. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Kharge as Chairman of State owned Leather Development Corporation". Indian Audit and Accounts Department. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "Kharge performance in Karnataka". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Congress scores big win in local polls". Indian Express. 
  11. ^ Phukan, Sandip (June 3, 2014). "Mallikarjun Kharge consecutive win". NDTV. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "About Buddha Vihar, Gulbarga". Buddha vihar Gulbarga. 
  15. ^ "President’s Address to the Nation". Rashtrapathi Bhavan. 
  16. ^ "Everyone can become a Buddha". The New Indian Express. 
  17. ^ Maramkal, MB (20 January 2009). "Dalai Lama unveils Buddha idol". The Times of India. 
  18. ^ "A grand bow to the arts". Chennai, India: The Hindu. July 1, 2005. 
  19. ^ "Personal life of Mallikarjun Kharge". Business Standard. June 3, 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Oscar Fernandes
Minister of Labour and Employment
Succeeded by
Sis Ram Ola
Preceded by
CP Joshi
Minister of Railways
Succeeded by
DV Sadananda Gowda
Party political offices
Preceded by
Sushilkumar Shinde
Leader of the Indian National Congress in the Lok Sabha
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