JP For Small States
Jayaprakash Narayan favoured the formation of small states and suggested that a beginning might be made with Bihar being split into north and south Bihar. He said this would not only bring the people and the government close to each other but also help both solve problems more easily because of the possibility of the intensive involvement of the people in developmental efforts. In such a dispensation there might be no bureaucratic standoffishness to thwart progress. JP was inaugurating the all-India conference of the Lohia Vichar Manch, presided over by Kishan Patnaik, a former socialist leader of Orissa and now editor of Samuhik Varta, a progressive Hindi journal.
Janata And Farmers
The Janata Party’s working committee decided to ask the government to do away with excise duties on fertilisers, pesticides and weed killers within three years. The working committee also accepted “in principle” the demand often voiced by farmers’ representatives that there should be parity in prices of industrial goods and farm produce. Their complaint has been that while prices of industrial goods are allowed to go up, those of farm products are inelastic. The committee also accepted the recommendation of its panel on economic policy that as much as 40 per cent of the nation’s resources should be diverted to agriculture. The working committee also asked the government to see that deposits raised by banks in rural areas are ploughed back into the same areas.
Cyclone Batters TN
Heavy damage and loss of property were feared in the Nagapattinam area, which was hit by a cyclonic storm. Power and communication links were disrupted and police wireless communication was also inoperative. Loss of life, if any, was not immediately known. The storm with a windspeed exceeding 100 km per hour crossed the Thanjavur coast near Nagapattinam at 6.30 am.