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Seeking to strike an emotional chord with the people of his home district of Kalaburagi, Congress President M Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday appealed to them to at least attend his funeral if they thought he worked for them even though they do not wish to vote for the party candidate here in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking at a poll rally at Afzalpur in this district, the 81-year-old also said that if they (people) did not vote for the Congress candidate, he would think that he did not have "any place" in Kalaburagi anymore.

The Congress has fielded Kharge’s son-in-law Radhakrishna Doddamani from Kalaburagi, against BJP’s sitting MP Umesh Jadhav.

"If you miss your vote this time (if you don't vote for the Congress candidate), I will think that I don’t have any place here for me and I could not win your heart," said Kharge, who won the Lok Sabha elections here in 2009 and 2014, but lost in



2019.

"Whether you vote for us (Congress) or not, but at least come to my funeral if you think that I have done for Kalaburagi," the Congress chief said.

He also said that he would continue in politics till his last breath to "defeat" the BJP and RSS ideology.

"I am born for politics. Whether or not I will contest the election, I will strive till my last breath to save the Constitution and democracy of this country. I will not retire from politics," Kharge asserted.

Explaining further, he said retirement happens from a position but one should not retire from his/her principles. "I am born to defeat the ideology of the BJP and RSS and not to surrender before them."

He also advised Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who shared the dais with him, to follow his principles. "I tell Siddaramaiah repeatedly that you may retire as CM or MLA, but you cannot retire from politics till you defeat the ideology of the BJP and RSS".
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