Controversies seem to make people age but a goof-up could have made Prime Minister Manmohan Singh older than he actually is.
Seeking a fifth straight Rajya Sabha term, Singh on Wednesday filed his nomination papers in the Assam assembly. His affidavit signed May 10, 2013 mentions his age as 82 years.
But the affidavit he submitted on 7 May 2007 for election to his current term – it expires June 14 – says he was 74 years old then. That makes him 80 years plus a few days now.
Singh’s age as per the 2007 affidavit is closer to the age (80 years and eight months) calculated on the basis of the date of birth mentioned in his profile on pmindia.nic.in. The official site says he was born in a village in present-day Pakistan’s Punjab province on 26 September 1932.
“We will go by the rules when we scrutinise the nomination papers on May 21,” said assembly secretary Gouranga Prasad Das.
Former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said the age mismatch could have been a case of oversight and might not halt the Prime Minister’s Rajya Sabha run. “But this underscores the carelessness of the Prime Minister or whoever filled up the form for him,” he said.
Senior advocate Nekibur Zaman said the age mismatch was against the spirit of the People’s Representation Act. “As per the Act, no one should furnish false information. This should be brought to the notice of the Election Commission immediately,” he added.