The flock of ‘under 50’ Chief Ministers is growing in size, with the monk-turned-politician Yogi Adityanath leading the pack of the younger generation of leaders at the helm of as many as six states in the country.
The youth leadership taking the reigns of the states was a rare event in the last century as very few broke the glass ceilings.
While Mr Adityanath (49) stays under 50 years of age, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, 48, expanded the ‘under 50’ group this month which now has six members.
M.O.H Farook was the first to break the glass ceiling, becoming the youngest Chief Minister in India after he took the charge of Puducherry in 1967 when he was just 29-years-old.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Parkash Singh Badal was 43 years old when he became Chief Minister of Punjab in 1970.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar had announced his arrival at the forefront of Indian politics by taking charge of Maharashtra in 1978. He was 38-years-old when he became the Chief Minister of the state.
Afterwards, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta in 1985 became Assam Chief Minister when he was 34 years old.
But India in the last two decades has seen more younger political leaders rising in the ranks in their respective political parties, with some gaining from the political legacies passed on to the next generation.
The National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdulla in 2009 handed over the leadership baton to his son Omar Abdulla in 2009 who became the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir at 38 years of age.
The generational shift again took place in the Samajwadi Party when Akhilesh Yadav took over the leadership of his party and also became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2012 when he was 38 years old.
A year later, Hemant Soren became the Chief Minister of Jharkhand in 2013 when he was 28-years-old, with his father Shibu Soren passing on the leadership baton of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) to him.
Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of veteran Congress leader YS Rajsekhara Reddy, became the youngest CM of Andhra Pradesh in 2019 at 46.
The last decade on the other hand has seen the arrival of the new set of leadership at the helm of the states while not hailing from leading political families.
The Aam Admi Party (AAP) founder and bureaucrat-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal became the Chief Minister of Delhi when he was 45 years old.
Prema Khandu, 42, is also among the young Chief Ministers. He had first become the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh when he was 37 years old.
Goa Chief 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’ Chief Ministers, four are from the Bharatiya Janta Party, and one each from the AAP and YSR Congress.