May 18, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Congress Turmoil

The move was given up and Mrs Gandhi’s critics thought they would make another attempt to free the party from her hold at a later date.

By: Editorial | Published:May 18, 2017 3:15 am
have a look at the Indian Express paper 40 years ago. (FILE)

The Congress, which is yet to recover from its defeat in the last general election, seems to be heading for a crisis on the eve of the assembly elections, with another revolt brewing against Mrs Gandhi and the men around her. This is evident from a serious move being made by critics of Mrs Gandhi and what has come to be known in the party’s jargon as the caucus to wrest from them the control of the party.

The move, which has the seeds of a split, is aimed at requisitioning a meeting of the All-India Congress Committee to discuss the question of “replacing personality cult” and “caucus rule” by collective leadership and democratic rule in the Congress. The requisition move has the backing of the former Congress president, Dev Kantha Barooah, Siddhartha Sankar Ray, Chandrajit Yadav, Subhadra Joshi, A.K. Anthony, Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav and Bali Ram Bhagat. Soon after Brahmananda Reddy’s election as Congress president, some senior Congress leaders had contemplated leaving the party and forming a Congress Socialist Party. The move was given up and Mrs Gandhi’s critics thought they would make another attempt to free the party from her hold at a later date.

Tension At Maruti

Agitating workers of Maruti Limited deflated the tyres of a tempo, which they alleged was deployed to remove Maruti papers. According to a handwritten note from the general secretary of the Maruti union, workers came to know that vehicles had been deployed to remove papers from the factory premises. The statement said large groups of workers soon reached the factory and requested Sanjay Gandhi not to remove papers as the Union government had ordered an inquiry into Maruti’s affairs.

Ex-MP Quits CPI

S.M. Banerjee, a trade union leader, who represented Kanpur in the Lok Sabha for four consecutive terms from 1957, resigned from the Communist Party of India.

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