While the Bihar government has gone ahead with its decision to take over sugar mills, the Union Cabinet set up a ministerial committee to evolve a policy on the crisis facing the sugar industry. The problem has arisen because of the reluctance of sugar mills to accept sugarcane for crushing. The industry says that after the decontrol of sugar, prices have fallen and stocks have piled up. The Bihar government has the powers to take over sugar mills. The Centre does not know what the Uttar Pradesh government will do as it has no such powers. The main task of the committee will be to evolve a strategy which helps the grower without hitting the sugar mills and the consumer.
Five persons including a woman were hurt in two different cases of violence in the Chikmagalur constituency. According to the police superintendent H T Sanghana, three Janata Party workers received minor injuries when Congress (I ) volunteers hurled stones on the Janata propaganda van at Banakal town. In the second incident at Maladur, about 20 kilometres from Chikmagalur, Janata workers are alleged to have stoned the Congress (I) election office. A couple working near by suffered injuries. In both the cases,the parties have filed cases and counter cases.
The purpose of the proposed convention of Congressmen will be to build a “ viable third alternative to the reactionary Janata Party and the authoritarian Congress (I)” by strengthening the Congress organisation, Chandrajit Yadav, one of the promoters of the convention, said in Delhi. Yadav said there was “very good response” to the convention due to widespread resentment among Congressmen against the decision to de facto support Indira Gandhi in the Chikmagalur bypoll.