February 18, 1977, Forty Years Agohttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/february-18-1977-forty-years-ago-cpi-jayaprakash-narayan-hkl-bhagat-4530632/

February 18, 1977, Forty Years Ago

The rank and file of the CPI is unhappy over the party’s attitude towards the Congress, according to an analysis by Kuldip Nayar.

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Divided CPI

The rank and file of the CPI is unhappy over the party’s attitude towards the Congress, according to an analysis by Kuldip Nayar. Most members do not know or understand what has motivated the party to side with the Congress in West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, with the Congress For Democracy in UP, Bihar and Orissa and go it alone in other states. All that the members have is party general secretary Rajeswara Rao’s statement that the Congress in West Bengal has fought against reaction, in Tamil Nadu separatism and in Kerala instability. S.A. Dange, the chairman, and N.K. Krishnan, the CPI foreign affairs expert, are on one side, supporting Mrs Gandhi, while Bhupesh Gupta, the New Age editor, and Inderjit Gupta from West Bengal are on the other. If Dange and his associates had pressed their point of having electoral alliance with the Congress all over the country, they would have probably split the party.

JP In Calcutta

Jayaprakash Narayan asked the prime minister if there can be a free and fair poll with so many political workers — Naxalites and others — in jail. He then asked Indira Gandhi to accept the people’s verdict gracefully. “If people vote you to power, we will accept it. If they vote you out, then don’t sit on their chest with gun in hand,” he said at a rally in Calcutta. Indira Gandhi, he said, had misused powers to remain in office and “if Mrs Gandhi and Congress win the election, dictatorship will be established in the country, the people will be robbed of civil liberty and they will be reduced to slaves”.

Bhagat Heckled

A group of lawyers heckled H.K.L. Bhagat, minister of state for housing, when he attempted to address them on behalf of the Congress at Tis Hazari, Delhi. Bhagat and several other candidates were at Tis Hazari to file their nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections.