Rishang Keishing — Rajya sabha MP, born on October 25, 1919 — the oldest elected representative in the country is retiring shortly. Mr. Keishing told The Hindu that he will call it a day and will not contest again. He had handed over his baton to his son, Victor Keishing, who was elected in the last Assembly election from the Phungyar constituency. The lone Rajya sabha MP in Manipur will be elected on February 7, 2014.
Mr. Keishing, surprisingly in good health, who started his career as a teacher was first elected to the Lok sabha from the reserved seat in 1952. He joined the Congress in 1964 and has been in the party since then. He had served as the Chief Minister of Manipur for four times and was sworn in for the first time on December 16, 1975. Mr. Keishing, who belongs to the Tangkhul tribe, established the Rishang Keishing Foundation for Management of Tribal Affairs in 1998. The main activities of the foundation are to conserve soil, water management and control shifting cultivation.
Mr. Keishing, who had been speaker and minister for several times, escaped unscathed from few assassination attempts. However, some of his security guards were killed and many others wounded. Mr. Keishing who was first elected to the Rajya sabha on Congress ticket in 2008 has been MP so far and enjoys fool-proof security coverage now.
Mr. Keishing said that his main concern was peace and development and said that the government and all sections of people should strive hard to achieve it.