PC joins Digvijay charade

Minister calls for younger leaders in Union Cabinet

“I think we should have young politicians, including Cabinet ministers in their late 40s and early 50s,” Chidambaram said in a recent television interview. He minced no words suggesting those aged above  60 years, including himself, should step back.

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, who has been evoking Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s name for the prime ministership, had once described Chidambaram “intellectually arrogant.”

Asked if he was “skirting close” to Congress General Secretary’s  argument for a young prime minister,  Chidambaram said, “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.  I  am sure the Congress party will be very happy should Rahul Gandhi be prime minister at an appropriate time.”

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his government, Chidambaram said, “We have a PM who has steered this country for seven years. We have had some outstanding successes and we have had some problems. But the prime minister and the government are doing the best job (and they) want to do better. I am sure that is the feeling shared both by the PM and the Congress president.”

When asked whether he himself is not angling for the top job, the home minister 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.”

He also maintained that he does not want to be a life-long politician. Asked whether he would like to keep the job of home minister 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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