This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Politicians, who feel they are still in the prime of their career, feel Mamata’s move should not become the norm, at least not in politics! Cutting across party lines and gender, leaders were not pleased with her announcement of reducing the cut-off age for women to avail senior citizen concessions. While for ordinary citizen, the announcement comes as a boon, as woman still in service would now be eligible to avail senior citizenship concession to travel in the Railways, even before she becomes eligible to get superannuation benefits like pension, for political leaders, it closes the door for elevation.
The Politicians for obvious reasons, were embarrassed by the latest move of the Railways Minister, who herself is 61 years and is aspiring to become the West Bengal Chief Minister.
For the leaders in all the major political parties such as the Congress, BJP, and the Left 58 is ‘not’ the age for retirement, but for getting into ‘real businesses of politicking. Perhaps, that is the age when they just get entry into the higher party elections.
It would be unfair to cut short their career, when they are just about to embark on it. A senior BJP leader remarked that a leader should be retired from the party, if that is the norm. If he is allowed to remain in the party and asked not to contest for any elective posts, he may end up damage the prospects of other party leaders. Congress president Sonia Gandhi also dropped broad hints that politicians should consider quitting active politics at the age of 64 years. Now, with Mamata’s new sop, it has set the political class thinking.
In the Congress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, 79, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, 64, and Congress president’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, 61, are the top leaders; even the so-called younger lots are no longer all that young, going by Mamata’s yardstick.
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