Railway Minister Kamalapati Tripathi has resigned from the Union cabinet. Criticism of the performance of the Railway Ministry by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at her news conference last Tuesday is believed to have prompted Tripathi to send in his resignation. A letter written by Tripathi was delivered to Mrs Gandhi. Tripathi is understood to have stated that Mrs Gandhi could choose a younger person to handle the ministry and as for himself, he could have many other avenues of service under her leadership.
The Prime Minister declared here that everything laid down in the Constitution need not be relevant for all time to come and called for a national debate on the question of whether there was any form o f government better suited for India than the present system. Mrs Gandhi said the system handed down by the Constitution-makers had not been reviewed. She also said there was need for evolving precepts and conventions applicable to the opposition with their “increasingly resorting to agitational politics”. She noted that while several countries had experimented the government systems and sought more effective forms of government, in India the British style of parliamentary system had gone on without even a debate.
War Rages On
Iraq claimed its forces chased the fleeing defenders of Iran’s major port city o f Khorramshahr down the highway to the oil defining city of Abadan as air battles flared overhead. But Iran said its fighters regained key positions in the embattled city of 3,50,000 inhabitants, repelling enemy attacks on Khorramshahr’s mosque, government house, tobacco company building and the Khorramshahr-Abadan bridge. A communique from the Iraqi command said Iran set waves of helicopter gunships to halt an Iraqi advance on Abadan, prompting Iraqi jets to scramble up over the desert plain and “shot down three enemy helicopters.”
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