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The Economic Times

Age is no bar for these MLAs

Representative image.
JAIPUR: Age is just a number for these Rajasthan MLAs who are 75 years or older. Most of them are raring to go again in the coming elections.

There are 17 members — 14 from the ruling BJP, two from Congress and one independent — in the 75-yearsplus club of the current Rajasthan assembly.

Two of the veterans, one each from the BJP and Congress, have announced their decision to retire; but only to pass on the baton to their sons.

The 85-year-old BJP MLA from Pilani and chairman of the Scheduled Caste Commission, Sundar Lal Kaka, has projected son Kailash Meghwal as his political heir. Meghwal is currently holding the post of pradhan in the Chirawa panchayat samiti.

Narain Singh, the 84-year-old Jat stalwart from the Congress, has also hung up his boots. The octogenarian, who has represented Danta Ramgarh seven times in the assembly, has recommended his son as his successor.

“I have asked (state) party chief Sachin Pilot to consider the candidature of my son Virendra Singh in my place. Now it’s up to the party to decide,” he said.

Others in the club are ready to take the plunge in the coming elections, and BJP’s old warhorses are particularly hopeful. Putting rest to speculations that the BJP would not give chance to 75-year-plus candidates, party’s national president Amit Shah last year had clarified that there was no age ceiling for contesting elections.

Age has no connection with politics, said Amra Ram, the 75-year-old revenue minister. “If you are fit to serve public, you should be available for the job. Only the public and party can decide whether I should contest the election or not,” he said.

Another septuagenarian MLA from the BJP, Kailash Bhansali, also said it was the party that would make a decision.

“If the public thinks I have done good job and the party finds me suitable again, who am I to deny,” he asked.

BJP sources, meanwhile, said the party might consider fielding half these MLAs in the upcoming election.

“Feedback of most of these public representatives has been better than their younger counterparts.

Tickets will be given only to winnable candidates irrespective of their age. Almost 50% of these MLAs are likely to be repeated,” one of the sources said.
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