Sharad Pawar,76, completes 50 years in politics in February, 2017. The president of the Nationalist Congress Party -- a three-time Maharashtra chief minister and a former union minister -- was first elected to the assembly in 1967.
HT looks at other popular leaders who have had a long innings.
VS Achuthanandan, 93, CPI(M): Former Kerala chief mininster, former CPI(M) Politburo member, and one of the founding members of the CPI(M).
78 years in active politics: Achuthanandan joined the State Congress in 1938 and the Communist Party of India two years later in 1940. He was part of the 32-member team that created the CPI(M) in 1964. He served as the CM of Kerala from 2006 to 2011.
Muthuvel Karunanidhi, 92, DMK: Five-time former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, head of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
78 years in active politics, beginning with the Justice Party at age 14.
Parkash Singh Badal, 89, SAD: Chief minister of Punjab.
69 years in active politics, beginning in 1947. He was elected to the Punjab assembly 10 years after joining politics.
LK Advani, 89, BJP: Senior party leader and former deputy Prime Minister.
74 years in active politics: Advani having joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in 1942. He later joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh – the predecessor of BJP -- soon after it was founded in 1951.
HD Deve Gowda, 83, JD-S: Former Prime Minister of India (June 1996 to April 1997), former chief minister of Karnataka (1994 to 1996).
63 years in active politics, beginning with joining Congress in 1953.
Tarun Gogoi, 80, Congress: Former chief minister of Assam.
53 years in active politics, beginning with joining Congress in 1963.
Farooq Abdullah, 79, Jammu & Kashmir National Conference: Three-time former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and a former Union minister.
36 years in active politics: Abdullah was elected from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency in the 1980 General Election.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, 77, Samajwadi Party: SP chairperson and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Yadav has also previously served as a Union minister of defence.
49 years in active politics: Yadav was elected as an MLA in the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh in 1967.
Pinarayi Vijayan, 72, CPI(M): Kerala chief minister since 2016 and member of the CPI(M) Politburo. He has formerly served as Kerala State Committee secretary and as state minister of Electric Power and Co-operatives.
52 years in active politics: Vijayan joined the Communist Party in 1964.
Lalu Prasad Yadav, 68,RJD: Former chief minister of Bihar, former Railways minister.
At least 39 years in active politics: Yadav joined the Janata Party in 1977.
Narendra Modi, 66, BJP: Prime Minister of India since 2014, former chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014.
45 years in active politics, beginning with the RSS, which he joined as a ‘pracharak’ in 1971.
Rajnath Singh, 65, BJP: Home minister of India, former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
At least 42 years in active politics: Singh joined the Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1974.
Sushma Swaraj, 64, BJP: Current minister of external affairs, she was also briefly the chief minister of Delhi in 1998.
39 years in active politics: Swaraj formally joined the BJP after the Emergency in 1977.
Mamata Banerjee, 61, AITMC: Chief minister of West Bengal and founder of the All India Trinamool Congress. She has formerly held several cabinet positions, including the ministry of railways and the ministry of coal.
40 years in active politics, beginning with her appointment as general secretary of Mahila Congress in West Bengal in 1976.
Mayawati, 60, Bahujan Samaj Party: Party national president and four-time former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
32 years in active politics: She was drafted into the newly formed BSP in 1984.