Home minister P Chidambaram has said he believes “we should have ministers, including cabinet ministers in their late 40s, early 50s” and that those over 60, including himself, “should step back”.
In an interview to NDTV on Sunday, he said, “I think we should have younger politicians. I firmly believe in younger leaders.”
Asked if he was “skirting close” to Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s argument for a young prime minister, he 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. And I’m sure the Congress party would 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 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.”
Asked if he was aiming for prime ministership himself, Chidambaram 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.”
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."
Chidambaram said he had been in this job now for two-and-a-half years and 25 days.