On his return to the capital after talks with leaders in Kathmandu, the Minister for External Affairs, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said India had a” “open mind” on the proposal to declare Nepal a zone of peace”. “We have neither accepted the proposal nor rejected it,” Vajpayee said. He had promised the leaders in Kathmandu that India would consider the proposal with an open mind.
Swamy on Sanjay
The Janata Party member, Subramanian Swamy, sought in the Lok Sabha the government’s confirmation of a report in an American magazine alleging payment of a “fee” to Sanjay Gandhi, for facilitating the award of a government contract to a French petroleum company for off-shore oil exploration. Quoting the report, which appeared in the latest issue of the American magazine Newsweek, Swamy wanted to know whether the government had ordered any enquiry into the matter.
Janata on prohibition
The question of imposing prohibition was raised by Janata Party members in Parliament. MPs focussed the government’s attention on the sale of illicit liquor in the Karol Bagh area of New Delhi and alleged police connivance with bootleggers in the spurious liquor trade. The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by four members — Kishore Lal, O.P. Tyagi, Balbir Singh and Mahi Lal — to call attention to the poisonous liquor tragedy in which 20 people lost their lives.
Jayaprakash Narayan, in his last engagement in Bombay before leaving for Patna, said that the incomplete work of Mahatma Gandhi in bringing gram panchayat and decentralisation of powers must be the prime tasks of the government. The fragile leader who led the Indian people to democracy seemed to be making a clear cut policy statement and cautioning politicians.