Pleasing the top boss?

New Delhi | Updated on March 01, 2011 Published on March 01, 2011



Among the Finance Minister's Budget pronouncements on Wednesday, the one that has really caught the nation's attention is his handouts to the silver brigade.

No sooner had he announced an income-tax exemption limit of Rs 5 lakh to octogenarians — introducing a new category of Very Old Senior Citizens — than tweets began to fly across cyberspace about the FM pleasing his top boss. The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, according to the Rajya Sabha Web site, will turn 80 on September 26.

Incidentally, in the 250-member strong Rajya Sabha, there are at least 15 octogenarians and seven on the verge of entering the 80s.

The oldest member of the Upper House, going by the date of birth on its Web site, is 90-year-old Congressman Rishang Keishing from Manipur.

In the Lok Sabha, that honour belongs to 90-year-old Ram Sundar Das, a JD (U) representative from Hajipur, Bihar. In the 530-member Lower House with just seven members in their eighth decade, there are fewer octogenarians than the Upper House, though there are 15 who will achieve that milestone soon. Some of the noteworthy octogenarians gracing the precincts of the Upper House of Parliament include 89-year-old lawyer Ram Jethmalani, 81-year-old Arjun Singh and 80-year-old Dr Karan Singh. In Lok Sabha, the very senior members include 83-year-old Lal Krishna Advani, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda.

And the Finance Minister? Pranab Mukherjee was born on December 11, 1935.

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Published on March 01, 2011
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