October 24, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Congress Intrigues

Kerala Chief Minister AK Antony won the Kazhakkoottam by-election defeating the Opposition-backed independent, Sridharan Nair.

By: Editorials | Published: October 24, 2017 12:57 am

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Congress Intrigues
While some of the big guns of the anti-Indira camp, including Siddhartha Shankar Ray, D.K. Barooah and B.R. Bhagat, held discussions with the Congress president, Brahmananda Reddy, one of Mrs Gandhi’s main lieutenants, A.R. Antulay announced the group was going ahead with the move to requisition an AICC meeting to oust Reddy. His statement serves notice the Indira group will not hesitate to take the party to the brink of another split in order to gain control.

Limaye’s Advice
General secretary of the Janata Party, Madhu Limaye, chipped in with a bit of advice to help the beleaguered Congress president, Brahmananda Reddy, to solve the leadership crisis in his party. “Take a stand, throw the caucus out, clean up your party and call the bluff of the gang of hoodlums and blackmailers who have gathered around Mrs Indira Gandhi’s untattered authoritarian banner,” he advised Reddy in a letter. He exhorted Reddy to cooperate with the Janata Party in repealing the unsavoury 42nd constitutional amendment.

Antony Wins ByPoll
Kerala Chief Minister A.K. Antony won the Kazhakkoottam by-election defeating the Opposition-backed independent, Sridharan Nair. Antony, who took over the mantle of chiefministership on April 21 without being a member of the state legislature, has become a member of the Assembly four days ahead of the deadline. The people in Kerala have shown that they are more concerned with their immediate problems than with the Emergency of which they had no direct taste. The Emergency seems to have been benevolent on Antony for it is the horrors of the Emergency as epitomised in the killing of Rajan that pulled down his predecessor, K. Karunakaran, barely a month-old in the saddle, and put Antony there. His victory is also a vindication of his stand against the caucus in the Congress.

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