P Chidambaram wants young leaders in the Union Cabinet

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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P Chidambaram
New Delhi, Jun 27: P Chidamabram, the Union Home Minister, believes that the Cabinet is not a place for people over the age of 60 and that includes himself. The Congress leader from Tamil Nadu said this in an interview to NDTV on Jun 26.

Chidambaram said that he firmly believes “we should have ministers, including cabinet ministers in their late 40s, early 50s" and that those over 60, including himself, “should step back". He added, “I think we should have younger politicians. I firmly believe in younger leaders."

When being enquired if he was “skirting close" to Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh"s argument for a young prime minister, Chidambaram replied, “No, I have not referred to that argument at all. Every generation will throw up a leader; every 10 years will throw up a prime minister. And I"m sure the Congress party would be very happy should Rahul Gandhi be prime minister at an appropriate time."

Reposing his faith on Manmohan Singh and his government, the noted economist-turned-politician said, “We have a PM who has steered this country for 7 years…We have had some outstanding successes and we have had some problems. But the PM and the government are doing the best job (and they) want to do better. I"m sure that"s a feeling shared both by the PM and the Congress president — that we must do better."

When queried if he has any ambitions for the prime minister's post, Chidamabaram said, “I know what I want to do in the remaining years of my life. I want to read, I want to travel and above all, I want to write. I think inside me there is a writer. I can"t write as felicitously as Arundhati Roy. I disagree with her on everything, but I love the style in which she writes."

Replying to a question if he wanted to retain his job when a cabinet reshuffle takes place, he said, "Do I have a choice? I don't think I have a choice. These decisions are made by two people in our system today. One, the Congress president, because I belong to the Congress party and the other is the prime minister. We simply accept their decisions."

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