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Montek too old to be IMF chief

India's top candidate for the vacant managing director role at the IMF has been ruled out because he is too old, New Delhi's representative at the lender has said.

delhi Updated: May 25, 2011 13:26 IST

India's top candidate for the vacant managing director role at the IMF has been ruled out because he is too old, New Delhi's representative at the lender has said.

IMF executive director Arvind Virmani said senior Indian economic adviser Montek Singh Ahluwalia was a fine candidate, but he was over the International Monetary Fund's age limit of 65. "He has excellent qualifications, but will not qualify because of the current bylaw of the IMF which states the candidate must be 65 years of age or below," Virmani told India's NDTV news channel in a broadcast aired Wednesday.

No other possible Indian candidate aside from 68 year old Ahluwalia, a former IMF executive who helped spearhead India's liberalisation drive, has surfaced.

Virmani's comments were aired a day after India and the world's other large emerging economies slammed Europe's push to lock up the IMF job, calling its hold on the position "obsolete."

IMF directors from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- the so called BRICS -- said Europe's longstanding exclusive deal to lead the IMF "undermines the legitimacy" of the world body.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has emerged as the front-runner for the job after Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned following his arrest in New York on sexual assault allegations, which he denies.