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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

August 4, 1980, Forty Years Ago: Agitation not over

This is the front page of The Indian Express published on August 4, 1980.

By: Editorial | August 4, 2020 3:05:23 am
This is the front page of The Indian Express published on August 4, 1980.

The projected negotiations on the foreigners issue appeared to have run aground with the sponsors of the Assam movement threatening to resume their agitation if the government refused to implement the July 25 accord. Leaders of the All Assam Students Union and the Gana Sangram Parishad have denied the claims made on their behalf by Manipur Chief Minister Dorendra Singh that the accord implied a withdrawal of the agitation. The statements said that the very term of the accord that the oil blockade would continue implied that they haven’t committed themselves to complete withdrawal.

Andhra dissidents

The Congress (I) dissidents in Andhra Pradesh rejected the appeal for cooperation by Chief Minister Chenna Reddy and his contention that the party crisis had blown over following his talks with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The state Finance Minister G Rajaram, who is spearheading the move for a change of leadership, told newsmen after consulting some of the 16 ministers who sought Mrs Gandhi’s permission to resign, that Reddy’s appeal was “misleading” and was for the consumption of “the few followers still left with him”. “If the cooperation sought is for his continuance as leader of the Congress (I) Legislature Party, the question does not arise.

Pakistan N-Plant

Pakistan is now preparing to stockpile fissile material for nuclear weapons. Western intelligence analysts believe that another pilot reprocessing plant is under construction from which Pakistan may manufacture the plutonium for its first explosion. The International Institute for Strategic Studies has stated that “although technical difficulties to implementing and engineering the centrifuge designs still could slow the programme, within one year Pakistan would have enough fissile material for five-seven nuclear bombs a year”.

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