The prime minister warned that no community or group, religious or otherwise, would be allowed to come in the way of nation’s progress, she said while addressing an AICC session. “Some people who had always been against the government find any excuse to criticise us. They think this may turn people against us and provoke us.” While making it clear that she did not believe in compulsion, Mrs Gandhi said when there are shortages, it was proper that what is available goes to those who follow our policies. The population programme did not merely encourage family planning, it was a campaign for healthier, better, smaller families. She reiterated that the government would rather do this through persuasion. “But we do not have all the time in the world,” she said.
The two-day AICC session in New Delhi reaffirmed the party’s resolve to go ahead with the implementation of the 20-point programme and gave a clear mandate to push through constitutional reforms
Labour Minister K.V. Raghunatha Reddy wrote to state labour ministers to take penal action against establishments which take recourse to lock-outs for one reason or the other. The amended Industrial Disputes Act provides for permission to be taken for declaring lay-offs, resorting to retrenchment and closure by establishments employing more than 300 workers.
A two-day conference of the east zone committee of the Congress (O) started in Patna under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan. Opinion was divided on whether the Congress (O) should merge with the new party proposed by JP. A section of the delegates held that the party should merge with the Congress or retain a separate identity.