The Janata Party moved a step further towards a split when the Central Parliamentary Board (CPB) asked Haryana Chief Minister Devi Lal to step down for his refusal to dissociate himself from the July 17 rally. Charan Singh’s followers are organising in the capital in support of the former home minister. The CPB, after listening to the CM, also asked the Janata legislators to elect a new leader in place of Devi Lal on July 7. Devi Lal described the CPB’s decision as unconstitutional but gave no indication whether he would give up the chief ministership. He said he would consult his friends, including Charan Singh, before deciding on the next step.
Charan Singh’s Pose
Charan Singh, former Union home minister, does not intend to attend the meetings of the Janata Party national executive on July 11 or the parliamentary party on July 15. He had resigned from the national executive as well as the parliamentary board while he was in hospital.
Anand Marg Case
A division bench of the Patna high court acquitted Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, supremo of Anand Marg, and four others, accused of murder. The judges allowed the appeal of all five accused against their conviction on the charge of murder of six Anand Marg defectors awarded by the additional district and sessions judge of Patna in November 1976. The CBI had investigated the case following the recovery of bodies from jungles in Ranchi and Singhbum districts in 1970.
UP Janata Rebels
The entire BLD faction in the Janata Party and the UP government have decided to rebel against the central leadership and join the Delhi rally on July 17 as an expression of solidarity with Charan Singh and Raj Narain. Though the CM, Ram Naresh Yadav, was noncommittal about his participation in the rally, a spokesman of the BLD faction said there was no “ifs and buts” about Yadav.