Of the 140 MLAs in the current assembly in Kerala, about 70% are in the 50-70 age group. However, more than 50% of the state’s electorate are well below 40.
With a view to correcting the age-asymmetry between the electors and the elected, almost all parties, including Muslim League, are toying with the idea of giving more tickets to youngsters. Youth Congress leaders of the state air-dashed to New Delhi last week, submitting three lists of probable candidates to the party high command. “This time there is a perceptible change. All parties emphasise the need for more young blood,” said Youth Congress leader Deepti Mary Verghese.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, 40, is taking keen interest in grooming young leaders. “This time it will be a good assortment of the young and experienced,” said state Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala.If the CPI(M) implements its resolution, taken after its drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections of 2009, that legislators who have had two terms cannot contest, many sitting MLAs and ministers will have to opt out. However, with the party being on the backfoot, the CPI(M) is unlikely to do a major overhaul this time. Its junior partner CPI has announced it will dump legislators who have had two terms.
But exceptions are there. KR Gowri Amma (92), expelled CPI(M) member, has donned her battle gear. At 87, CM VS Achuthanandan is going strong.
KM Mani, MV Raghavan and Aryadan Mohamed, senior leaders in the United Democratic Front, are more than 70.