An effort which may pave the way for a dialogue between the government and the non-communist opposition parties has already begun. Mrs Gandhi has replied to the letters by Asoka Mehta, the Congress (O) President. Mehta, in turn, has consulted the BLD, Jan Sangh and the Socialist Party, and sent his reply to the PM. Mrs Gandhi reiterated she and her party are committed to parliamentary democracy and that a country like India could hold together and prosper only through a democratic system. She said once there was a genuine acceptance of the changes in constitutional, economic and demographic fields, and a clear disavowal of communal and separatist policies and
repudiation of politics of violence, it would not be difficult to find solutions to the problems between opposition and the government. Mehta, in his reply, said the Opposition was desirous of restoring normal conditions and reviving the rights and liberties of the people and the best means to that end was a direct discussion between the prime minister and the Opposition.
Indira Gandhi told the media in Bhubaneswar that there must be some basic understanding for a dialogue with the opposition. “It is I who has been taking initiatives for such talks. But there must be some positive response,” she said. Mrs Gandhi said the Congress did not want to suppress the opposition, but the opposition also must make it a point to ensure that no undemocratic attempts were made to dislodge a democratically-elected government.
The first agreements between China and Bangladesh, one on trade and payments and another on economic and technical co-operation, were signed in Peking during the current visit to China of the Chief Martial Law Administrator of Bangladesh, General Ziaur Rahman.