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December 29, 1977, Forty Years Ago

Israel declared that its forces must stay on the west bank of the river Jordan, but Egypt urged the Jewish state to re-think its whole strategy for peace in West Asia.

By: Editorials | Published: December 29, 2017 12:00 am
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in New Delhi turned out to be an anti-climax.

CWC Meets

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in New Delhi turned out to be an anti-climax. Brahmananda Reddi reported to the CWC on the suspension of Devraj Urs, the resignation of Indira Gandhi from the CWC and the joint resignation of seven others. The CWC only “took note” of them. It left the matter of resignation to the Congress president, who would use the best of his discretion, keeping in view the interests of the Congress organisation.

Negotiating Peace

With a split in the Congress regarded as unavoidable, reports from state capitals indicate that a clear majority of AICC members, and key leaders, are lining up with the group headed by the party president, Brahmananda Reddi, and the leader of the on in Parliament, Y.B. Chavan. Mrs Gandhi’s largest support comes from Uttar Pradesh, which returns the biggest single block of delegates. The only other contingent backing her solidly is tiny, from Kashmir. But the position in other states, in which the majority of delegates was earlier regained as favouring her seems to be shifting. Reports from Bihar. Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, for instance, suggest that her previous supporters are now reluctant to commit themselves.

Taken together with states, like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala, Punjab and Haryana, in which the majority remains solidly behind Reddi, the shift is significant enough to indicate that the official group will do far better than predicted earlier.

Israel, Egypt Differ

Israel declared that its forces must stay on the west bank of the river Jordan, but Egypt urged the Jewish state to re-think its whole strategy for peace in West Asia. The rival positions were set out publically by Israel’s prime minister, Menachem Begin, and Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, following their failure in face-to-face talks to to reach agreement on the future of Palestinians.

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