The herd of ‘under 50’ prime ministers is growing in size, with monk politician Yogi Adityanath leading the group of younger generation leaders at the helm of as many as six states in the country.
The youth leadership that the governments of the states took was a rare event in the last century as very few broke the glass ceilings.
While Mr Adityanath, 49, remains under the age of 50, Bhagwant Mann, 48, prime minister of Punjab, this month expanded the ‘under 50’ group which now has six members.
MOH Farook was the first to break the glass ceiling and became the youngest prime minister in India after taking over Puducherry’s charge in 1967 when he was just 29 years old.
Shiromani Akali Dal (USA) leader Parkash Singh Badal was 43 years old when he became Prime Minister of Punjab in 1970.
Sharad Pawar, head of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), announced his arrival at the forefront of Indian politics by taking control of Maharashtra in 1978. He was 38 years old when he became prime minister of the state.
Thereafter, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, leader of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), became Assam prime minister in 1985 when he was 34 years old.
But in the last two decades, India has seen more younger political leaders rise up in the ranks within their respective political parties, with some benefit from the political legacy passed on to the next generation.
National Conference Patriarch Farooq Abdulla handed over the leadership stick to his son Omar Abdulla in 2009, who became the prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir at the age of 38.
The generational shift took place again in the Samajwadi party when Akhilesh Yadav took over the leadership of his party and also became the prime minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2012 when he was 38 years old.
A year later, Hemant Soren became the Prime Minister of Jharkhand in 2013 when he was 28 years old, with his father Shibu Soren handing over the leadership stick of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) to him.
Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of veteran congressman YS Rajsekhara Reddy, became the youngest CM of Andhra Pradesh in 2019 at 46.
On the other hand, the past decade has seen the arrival of the new set of leadership at the helm of the states, while not coming from leading political families.
The founder of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) and the bureaucrat who became a politician, Arvind Kejriwal, became the prime minister of Delhi when he was 45 years old.
Prema Khandu (42) is also among the young prime ministers. He first became the prime minister of Arunachal Pradesh when he was 37 years old.
Goa’s Prime Minister Pramod Sawant (48) and his Uttarakhand counterpart Pushkar Singh Dhami (46) are other ‘under 50’ members of the group.
Out of the six ‘under 50’ prime ministers, four are from the Bharatiya Janta Party, and one each from the AAP and YSR Congress.