The prime minister, Indira Gandhi, today called upon Congressmen to rely on their own strength, based upon the faith of the people, and beware of opposition parties, especially the Jana Sangh and the Swatantra Party. Mrs Gandhi was addressing Congressmen who had called at her residence to pledge their support to her policies. Referring to the Communist Party, she said that while it was true that they had supported the British during the Second World War, they had not gone against or repudiated the concept of independence and were not enemies of the country. But the princes and the maharajas, who later became the stalwarts of the Swatantra Party, had played a leading part in crushing the freedom struggle.
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister, M. Karunanidhi, welcomed the “correct picture painted by the Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, about the Communist Party of India”. The sentiments expressed by the PM about the Communists are “correct” and “should be welcomed”, he said.
Carter on West Asia
US president-elect Jimmy Carter will meet leaders of West Asia “battle field” nations as a first step toward a negotiated settlement in the area. In an interview in this week’s issue of Time magazine, Carter said he would want to hold talks with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and President Hafaz Assad of Syria.
Cape Town Riots
The death toll after two days of riots in Cape Town’s two African townships, Guguletu and Nyanga. has reached 24, South African Radio reported today. Clashes between rival African groups in the townships, where some 150,000 people normally live, petered out late in the afternoon, the report said. However, the situation was still extremely tense. South African police had sponsored talks between representatives of the rival groups, the radio added.