Time seniors made way for young blood, says Krishna

A day after stepping down as the External Affairs Minister, S M Krishna Saturday said that "senior citizens should make way" for "younger blood".

Addressing a press conference here, he said: "The flavour of the season is that youngsters must take over the reins of responsibility and I felt that it was time up for me to make way for younger blood... I am glad that this initiative has been by and large appreciated." Asked if he could recommend an age limit for cabinet ministers, he said: "I can speak for myself, can't speak for others."

Krishna, who made 83 overseas trips in the last three-and-a-half years, said the decision to resign "came from within", adding that his wife "had a major role to play in the decision making". He discounted any connection with the Karnataka Lokayukta's order seeking a probe against him for alleged irregularities in the Bangalore-Mysore highway.

Krishna added that his decision to make way for youth does not "denigrate the importance of experience". He said: "I think experience is an important attribute. And particularly in pursuing foreign relations with other countries, there has to be patience... and also perseverance," he said. "I said youngsters should lead, and we are there to support them in their efforts to forge ahead."

Krishna said he had met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi who appreciated his work as Foreign Minister. "She wanted me to continue whatever I am going to do as MP," he said. When asked whether he was going to Karnataka or would head the finance commission, he said, these are "speculation galore".

Stating that he had not lobbied for any position, Krishna added that he would like to relax now after his "punishing schedule" as minister.

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