Prime Minister Morarji Desai reiterated that there could be no “complete friendship” with China until India “got back” its territory. Speaking to media in Bhubaneswar, Desai said he had told a visiting Chinese delegation that “there cannot be complete friendship between the two countries until we get back our territory”. The Chinese delegation had accepted the position and said “we will discuss and settle it”, Desai said. The PM answered questions, including on death sentence to Z A Bhutto, autonomy to states.
CPM Supports Janata
The CPM support to the Janata Party in the fight for democracy was renewed at the party congress by its re-elected general secretary, E M S Namboodiripad.
JP On Dictatorship
Jayaprakash Narayan expressed the view that the establishment of panchayat raj through decentralisation of administration holds the key to the stability of democracy and avoidance of the danger of dictatorship in the country. JP said his fear that a strong Centre would gradually move away from democracy and become more and more totalitarian, came true when “we saw how Mrs Indira Gandhi, the former prime minister, concentrating too many powers in her hands, moved away from democracy and tried to impose dictatorship”. JP added: “Democracy can be safe only in a decentralised structure wherein the levers of power are controlled directly by the people.”
Sanjay Gandhi appeared before the Shah Commission, raised a technical objection, refused to take the witness chair and walked out without accepting fresh summons. Under the fresh summons, he has to appear before the Commission on April 22. The reason for his not taking the witness stand was that the earlier summons had been accepted not by him but by his driver. Sanjay Gandhi declined a request by Justice J C Shah that he accept fresh summons in the Commission hall itself.