Introduction of only classless, long-distance trains in the coming years, manufacture of a more comfortable prototype second-class coach with better amenities, construction of new railway lines and a cut in the price of the platform ticket were the highlights of the Janata government’s first railway budget. Railway Minister Madhu Dandawate did not increase passenger fares or freight rates. The second-class passenger got pride of place. The railway minister listed steps to offer him or her a comfortable journey. “In keeping with its commitment to Gandhian and socialist values,” Dandawate said, “the needs of the poor would have precedence over the claims of the affluent.”
JP on trusteeship
Though trusteeship was an old idea explored in the Indian scriptures, it was still relevant, Jayaprakash Narayan said. While speaking at a ceremony in Bombay where he released a book Equality Through Trusteeship, authored by Vadilal Lalubhal Mehta, JP said of all the economic ideas which impressed him, trusteeship seemed the only solution for peaceful progress, removing social and economic inequality. He explained that both capitalism and communism believed in confrontation and conflict. India could not afford that. The leader clarified that when he meant trusteeship, he did not mean trusteeship only for the owner, but also for the common worker, a trustee of skills for society.
AP releases Naxals
The Andhra Pradesh government ordered remission of sentences and release of 33 Naxalite prisoners to help them “rehabilitate themselves and lead a normal life”.
Koirala meets JP
The former Nepalese prime minister, B.P. Koirala, called on Jayaprakash Narayan at Express Towers penthouse in Bombay and spent time with him. According to JP’s secretary, the two leaders are very old friends.