The Congress appealed to Opposition parties not to field their candidates against Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge, who would be fielded as the party’s candidate from the Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency.

This would ensure his victory as a gesture of thanks for his efforts in getting the long-pending demand for amending Article 371 of the Constitution conceded, sanctioning a super-speciality ESIC hospital and medical college and new rail projects for Gulbarga district.

Party leaders unanimously passed a resolution proclaiming Mr. Kharge as the party candidate from the Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency, at a convention organised to mark Bhanganagowda Sunkanur’s elevation to the post of District Congress Committee president. The former zilla panchayat president Allamprabhu Patil, who made this plea on behalf of the party, received the support of all the speakers there.

Mr. Patil, in his address, proposed the resolution naming Mr. Kharge as the candidate and said that the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee G. Parameshwar should submit a proposal for declaring Mr. Kharge as the party candidate from Gulbarga.

The resolution was supported by the former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, the former Chairperson of the Central Haj Committee Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi, Medical Education Minister Sharanprakash Patil, Municipal Administration and Wakf Minister Qamar-ul Islam, and other senior leaders present.

Incidentally, the Congress observers appointed to hear the views of party workers and leaders on the selection of the candidate for the Gulbarga constituency, including I.G. Sannadi, the former MP, were also present when the resolution was adopted.

The Medical Education Minister symbolically handed over the party flag to the newly elected DCC president Mr. Sunkanur. Mr. Singh said that Mr. Sunkanur’s selection was welcomed by all party workers and leaders.

The 2014 Lok Sabha polls will be a crucial test for the party, it is every worker’s responsibility to rise to the occasion and garner support for the Congress candidates, Mr. Singh said.

Mr Sunkanur that the party needs to be strengthened at the grassroots level.