25 to 21: AAP wants lower age limit for MPs and MLAs
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) wants the minimum age for members of parliament and legislative assemblies lowered from 25 to 21.
The amendment to the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which sets the minimum age limit for contesting elections for MP or MLA to 25, will be part of party's manifesto to be released soon.
"The 15-month-old party wants to give voice to youngsters who can vote at 18 years but are allowed to contest election only at the age of 25," a party leader told HT seeking anonymity.
AAP's poll promise is expected to find resonance with 23 million young voters (18-19 years) who have been added to the 850million electorate. It had hit upon the idea during the Delhi assembly elections last year.
"During the Delhi polls, we realised that the young population of the country has politically matured and could be easily qualified for becoming an MP or MLA," the party leader said.
He said AAP believed it was time the 63-year-old Act was amended as there was no logic for the prescribed age limit. "If a person can contest municipal election at 21 what is the logic behind pushing the age limit for MP/MLA to 25?" he asked.
The party's manifesto will also include decriminalisation of gay sex, disqualification of MPs and MLAs charged with gender-related violence, strict laws against sex-selective abortions, recognition of madrassa degrees by universities, credit facilities and mixed neighbourhoods for minorities, among others.