Kolkata, Jan 15 (Agencies): In an unusual quip on his long career and setting aside his serious self, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday likened himself to an "antique" among the country's politicians, saying he was sticking to the political wicket for the last five decades.

"I am one of the oldest politicians alive, almost an antique in the political arena and who has been sticking to the wicket for the last five decades occasionally expressing a desire to retire, but still somehow sticking to the wicket," the 75-year-old Congress veteran said.

Mukherjee was participating in a panel discussion at the Indian Statistical Institute on 'Expectations from the Future Leaders'.

BJP leader Arun Shourie, who was among the panelists, showered praise on Mukherjee, saying, "He is one of the best prime ministers we are yet to have."

Shourie described him as a man of trust and keystone of Indian governance.

Mukherjee said young Indians of today have demonstrated tremendous confidence in themselves in addressing serious issues like inflation and uncertainty of revival of the world economy.

"Young Indians are not carrying any baggage and are not afraid of facing the challenges," he told the students.