February 24, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Indira On Janata

At Rourkela, Indira Gandhi said democracy did not mean a combination of two or more parties.

By: Editorial | Published: February 24, 2017 12:21:20 am

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said that democracy did not mean that the opposition could do anything it liked. At Rourkela, she said democracy did not mean a combination of two or more parties. It meant responsibility. When a correspondent pointed out that theirs was not a coalition but one party, Mrs Gandhi asked how the constituent parties with differing policies like those of the Jana Sangh and CPI could change policies overnight. “What is the purpose? There is no clear policy which is more important than forming the government. Experience has shown that coalition governments in the states had not been good,” she said.

Barooah Rapped

H.N. Bahuguna, general secretary, Congress for Democracy, rapped Congress President D.K. Barooah for again equating “Indira with India”. He said it was incorrect for any democracy to equate an individual with the country and recalled that Jawaharlal Nehru used to say that the organisation was bigger than the individual and the country was bigger than the organisation.

Haryana Rethinks FP

The Haryana government has suspended implementation of the disincentives for state government employees with regard to the family planning (FP) programme. The state does not now propose to take action against those employees with more than two children who do not undergo sterilisation. Chief Minister Banarsi Das Gupta said consent of government employees and others would be taken before they are sterilised.

Morarji In Bombay

Morarji Desai accused the PM of using government machinery and air transport for election purpose. It was a strange coincidence, he said, that when the PM was resorting to such corrupt practices, “we have been given a notification from the civil aviation department saying helicopters and planes are not to be used for election purposes”.

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