The BLD-dominated ministerialists avenged their defeat of February 15 in the Uttar Pradesh Janata Party by getting their candidate, Banarsi Das, elected leader of the Janata legislature party, defeating the Jan Sangh-dominated pro-changers nominee, Raj Mangal Pandey, by a margin of 35 votes. Das will be sworn in as the CM tomorrow at 11 am at Raj Bhavan. He met the Governor G D Tapase and informed him about his election. The 67-year-old will be the second Janata CM within 20 months, succeeding Ram Naresh Yadav. As soon as the results were announced, the ministerialists raised slogans in favour of Charan Singh.
Formal consultations on the formation of the new ministry in Uttar Pradesh will begin in New Delhi after the arrival of the new UP Janata Legislature Party leader, Banarsi Das. Das will be sworn in as chief minister tomorrow and plans to fly to the capital in the afternoon. The main controversy will be about the participation of the Jan Sangh group in the new government. The BLD faction leaders and the chief minister-designate, an erstwhile old Congress stalwart, have been openly attacking the Jan Sangh constituent. But it is doubtful if a ministry can survive for long without the support of the Jan Sangh faction, which constitutes a 96-member sold bloc in the state assembly.
Vietnam has said that fierce fighting is going on in a border province north-west of Hanoi where the country’s forces claimed to have put out of action 800 more Chinese soldiers. The Voice of Vietnam from Hanoi said in its latest battle report that including the 800, a total of 2,200 Chinese had been eliminated in Hoang Lien Son province in the past three days. The fighting is said to be concentrated in the Cam Duong area, which sits astride the Red River delta corridor, which runs from the frontier to the Vietnamese capital city.