February 11, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Janata Manifesto

News from forty years ago in Indian Express

By: Editorials | Updated: February 11, 2017 12:33:53 am
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The Janata Party announced its election manifesto which it described as a “Gandhian alternative” that assures the people “both bread and liberty”. Leaning heavily on Gandhian philosophy, the party promises an “open government in a free society” and  assures it “will not misuse the intelligence services and governmental authority for personal or partisan ends”. The comprehensive manifesto includes political, economic and social programmes, and lists the omissions and commissions of the Congress government. The major planks of the manifesto include dedication to the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, devolution of power, freeing the people from fear, restoration of the citizen’s fundamental freedoms and the rightful role of the judiciary and taking steps to rid public life of the cancer of corruption. The  primacy of agriculture has been emphasised and the party’s employment policy is aimed at moving people away from cities to the countryside. The party would also set up a committee to look into complaints
of excesses in the family planning drive of the Indira government.

Morarji On Freedom

Morarji Desai, Janata Party chairman, said the movement against the Mrs Gandhi government was “even more important than the freedom movement” because “all freedom has now gone”. He asked: Does  it make any difference if there is an Indian dictator instead of a foreign dictator? Even in British times, there were not so many  restrictions as today, he said.

Bengal Poll Deal

The Janata Party and the CPM-led  left combination has come to an agreement on adjustments for all the 42 Lok Sabha  seats from West Bengal, excepting one. The Janata Party has got 15 seats and the left  combination the rest. An official announcement has been held up as the Janata Party  is pressing for another seat.

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