The Age of Candidacy Petition

Read the Petition we will be sending to our policymakers.

To:
Shri Narendra Modi

The Hon’ble Prime Minister's Office
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi - 110011

Prime Minister Modi:

We are taking part in this campaign and signing this petition to ask you to lower the age of candidacy to run for a Member of Parliament and a Member of Legislative Assembly. To quote you in your youth’s budget, dated 31st March 2015:

“In spite of being most impacted by the future of this nation, you ironically have only a marginal say in it... I am convinced we as a nation must evolve from a mere youth development to a model of youth-led development. You must be the drivers of our hopes and aspirations. I am confident you can, and you will.”

We ask you today to live up to that promise. We ask you, again using your words, instead of making us new age voters, make us the new age power by giving us the right to contest in elections for Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly. The following are only some of the reasons why this change is necessary:

India’s Demographic: India, according to the 2011 census, boasts over 650 million people below the age of 25. A startling 170 million people are between the ages of 18 to 24 ‐ a number that is more than the total population of United Kingdom, France and Canada combined.

The Dilapidated State of the Youth Ministry: The Government of India does have a joint Youth and Sports Ministry, but it limits itself with very rudimentary schemes that have very limited impact on the significant population of youth.

The Low Representation: The 16th Lok Sabha is the oldest parliament to be elcted by the average age of every Lok Sabha MP. The 16th Lok Sabha had only 12 Members of Parliament at time of being elected.

No Objective Age Standard: India’s restrictions for age of contesting are quite arbitrary. For example, Rajya Sabha members have the oldest restrictions, closely followed by the restrictions for MPs/MLAs, butlocal Panchayat members are able to contest at the age of 21. The age barriers of entry are not backed by any consistent reasoning.

UPSC: The Union Public Service Commission which administers the process and examination for the Civil Service Examniation alongside 30 other examinations, has set the age to qualify at 21. If India's youth can be a part of the Civil Service at 21, they can eligible to be a part of our government.

International Comparisons: Several other democracies all over the world with a comparable young demographic have decreased their age to contest to include more youth in policy and governance. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, China and a plethora of other developed and non-developing countries have decreased their ages as well. The world is realizing the power of the youth and giving them a chance; it's time for India to give its youth a chance.

India’s driving social-economic force is its youth – and yet, India’s greatest resource is politically underrepresented. The current age restriction to run and take part in governance is arbitrary, harmful unnecessary, and restricts a significant portion of our society from taking part in electoral democracy. We, the young people of India, demand amendments to engage a significant demographic of India, including the following:

  • Amend Article 84 (B)
  • Amend the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951
  • Amend Article 173 (b) with Section 36 (2)

We firmly believe that the right of hundreds of millions of young Indian’s are not only being taken away through the current age restrictions, but more than half of India’s population does not have a proper voice and representation. We hope you will take steps to safeguard the growth of India and its young people.

Give India’s youth a voice.

Copies to:
Shri Vijay Goel, Hon’ble Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs, Room 401, C-Wing, Shashtri Bhawan, New Delhi - 110001
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Minister for Law and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology Shashtri Bhawan, A-Wing, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi - 110001
Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha, 17, Parliament House, New Delhi - 110001

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the age to run for Member of Parliament/Member of Legislative Assembly?

  • The minimum age to run for election as a MLA and as a MP (Lok Sabha) is 25 years old. The minimum age to run for elections as an MP (Rajya Sabha) is 30 years old.

2. What would need to happen for a Constitutional amendment to occur?

  • This bill will be introduced to Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament) and needs to be approved by no less than a two-thirds majority. It then needs to ratified by Rajya Sabha (the upper house of Parliament), again by no less than a two-thirds majority. However, lowering the age to run for MP/MLA seeks to make changes to article 368 of the constitution, therefore this bill must be ratified by no less than one-half of all state MLAs as well. Finally, the bill will be presented to the President for ratification.
    However, all of this happens, we need YOUR help and support! It’s crucial for you to contact your respective MP/MLA and express the urgency and necessity for the ratification of this bill. Our goal is to have a full bill drafted by February 2018, so it can be voted on during the next Monsoon Session of Parliament, which will take place July 2018.

3. What's the need to lower the age?

  • India’s youth, over 670 million people below the age of 25, accounts for an astounding 34% of India’s Gross National Income. Regardless of being a massive economic force, only 2.2% of the lower parliament is under the age of 30.
Sign The Petition

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