July 24, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Sri Lanka Polls

Jayewardene wiped out his main rivals in South Sri Lanka leaving Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party with just five seats.

By: Editorial | Published:July 24, 2017 3:21 am
Express July 24, 1977

The President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, William Gopallawa, invited Junius Richard Jayewardene (72) to form a government after his United National Party swept the polls, capturing 135 seats so far in the 168-member National Assembly. Jayewardene wiped out his main rivals in South Sri Lanka leaving Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party with just five seats.

Defensive Indira

The impression of millions of viewers who last night watched David Frost’s interview with Mrs Indira Gandhi on BBC TV, is that behind the bold face she tried to wear she is concerned over the possibility of her being taken to court to answer as yet unframed charges. (The interview was briefly reported yesterday). Answering a question whether she thought that the Janata government wanted to take her to court, she replied that “that’s what they say.” She also said “Nobody likes it because there is no reason, no truth in what they say.’’

Détente In Tripura

The Radhika Ranjan Gupta group of Janata legislators in Tripura have reached an understanding with the state CPM on the question of forming an alternative Janata-CPM coalition government headed by Gupta. The Gupta group of Janata legislators met the Marxist leader Nripen Chakraborty and reportedly struck a deal on the question of forming an alternative ministry to avoid President’s Rule. The state committee of the CPM is presently in session at Agartala to endorse Chakraborty’s deal with the Gupta group.

Belchi Uproar

A call-attention motion on what happened at Belchi in Bihar threw the Rajya Sabha out of gear. There were uproarious scenes through the three-and-a-half hour stormy discussion on the incident in which nearly a dozen Dalits were burnt to death.

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