AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s preference to youths in ticket distribution if mandated in the Assembly elections would end up giving sleepless nights to most party’s sitting legislators.
Barring one, all sitting Congress MLAs are aged above 35 years. Records with the Rajasthan Assembly show Alwar (rural) legislator Tikaram Julee, 33, as the youngest member of the ruling party in the Vidhan Sabha. If the definition of youths is extended to 40 years, a dozen odd MLAs get to share space with Julee. Incidentally, the Assembly records their age at the time of contesting the elections. By that yardstick, none of them would qualify as a youth in the upcoming Assembly polls.
The remaining 90 legislators are aged above 40. Most of them are the seasoned leaders aged between 50 and 60. There is no dearth of legislators who are close to celebrating or have celebrated the platinum jubilee of the lives.
Sawai Madhopur MLA Alauddin Azad who has seen 78 springs so far, is the eldest MLA of the party. Others sharing dais with him are legislators from Ahore, Bhagraj Chowdhary (75), Mundawer, OP Yadav (70), Sheo, Amin Khan (74), Sadulshahar, Santosh Kumar Saharan (71), Pilibanga, Aaadram Meghawal (71), Kota North and UDH minister Shanti Dhariwal (70), Deoli, Ramnarain Meena (70).
Most of these legislators are looking for a ticket and several of them might actually get it even though they may not cut the youthful figure that Rahul Gandhi has been looking for.
So, has Rahul’s suggestion been binned already? A party leader couldn’t be more politically correct. “The candidates of the party will a mix of young and old. A senior leader has experience on his side and can win the elections, so he would be considered for tickets.
Competent youths will also get a shot at elections,” the party leader said.