The next Lok Sabha will miss the towering presence of two Parliamentarians -- A B Vajpayee and Somnath Chatterjee -- who witnessed the blooming of Indian Parliamentary system in the past 40 years.
BJP patriarch Vajpayee and Lok Sabha Speaker Chatterjee, the senior-most and the only two ten-term MPs in the 14th Lok Sabha, will not be contesting the general elections this time for different reasons.
Ill health prevents Vajpayee, who mesmerised the lower house with his eloquence, from fighting the polls while Chatterjee, who had a bitter split with CPI(M), has already declared that he will keep away from active politics from now.
Vajpayee, who became a member of the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1957 in the second Lok Sabha, is an MP with 40 years experience though not in successive houses. He missed the third (1962), eighth (1984) and ninth (1989) Lok Sabhas.
Chatterjee's record is impeccable as he did not lose a single election since 1971 and is completing consecutive 38 years as a people's representative in the Lok Sabha.
If elected, nine-term MPs former Defence Minister George Fernandes and Congress' Giridhar Gamang, who are only junior to Vajpayee and Chatterjee in Parliamentary experience, will be the senior most leaders in the Lok Sabha.
Out of a total of 543 MPs, 71 were elected to the Lok Sabha five or more times.