Fresh stir in Assam
Agitators are set to intensify the struggle against foreigners in Assam from December 18 after ending the 46-day-old gherao of state legislators. The AASU and AAGSP leadership issued a statement firmly rejecting any move by the newly-installed state government to hold negotiations on the foreigners’ issue. It said the present government had “neither any authority nor was it in a position” to settle the foreigners’ issue. The new agitation, starting on Thursday, is expected to go on till December 30, according to the two organisations. It will take on the form of mass satyagraha in front of the offices of the deputy commissioners and sub-divisional and block development officers. As a concession to neighbouring states, the agitators will permit the transport of plywood from those areas through Assam.
The Maharashtra Government agreed to negotiate with the representatives of the Shetkari Sanghatana, including its leader, Sharad Joshi, on their demands for remunerative prices for agricultural produce. Consequently, the Shetkari leaders suspended their agitation till next Sunday. The government informed the Sanghatana leaders that it was willing to hold talks with them. Joshi said that if the negotiations “fail to concede our demands by next Sunday”, the second phase of the agitation would commence the next day itself, December 22.
Clamour for Rajiv
Leaders of the Youth Congress (I) made fervent appeals to Rajiv Gandhi to join politics and “lead them” at a function held in Delhi to mark the 34th birth anniversary of Sanjay Gandhi. PM Indira Gandhi, however, turned down their pleas by denouncing the craze for searching a leader. “All of you are leaders and should develop the leadership within you,” she said. The rally was organised by the Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress (I). It was attended by most members of Mrs Gandhi’s cabinet, Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal and Youth Congress (I) president Ghulam Nabi Azad, among others.