Forty Years Ago, April 14, 1977: JP’s broadcast

Forty Years Ago, April 14, 1977: JP’s broadcast

It is true that the right to recall had no place in the Indian Constitution.

Jayaprakash Narayan, JP, Right to recall India, Congress democracy, D K Barooah, Congress Barooah, Sri Lanka, Insurgency Sri Lanka, Indian Express
Indian Express Front Page, April 14, 1977

Jayaprakash Narayan reiterated his view that the people have the right to demand resignation of their representatives if they “fail in their duty and become corrupt, oppressive and inefficient”. It is true that the right to recall had no place in the Indian Constitution. But in a democracy, the people had an “unwritten right, which the people can exercise if and when necessary”. In a message broadcast to the nation, JP said except for the Centre, Congress governments still continued to function in the states. It was necessary to give a chance to the people to elect fresh representatives, committed to the people’s charter and their election manifestos. JP said he expected the Janata government to create, at the Centre and the states, an autonomous institution with legal authority, like the high courts and the Supreme Court, to deal with corruption.

New Congress chief

D.K. Barooah resigned from Congress presidentship to make way for the restructuring of the party. It is expected that Swaran Singh will be elected provisional president at the Congress Working Committee meeting. Several Congress leaders have been holding consultations on who should be the next president. Several names were considered, including Y.B. Chavan, Syed Mir Qasim, K. Brahmananda Reddy and Swaran Singh. Chavan and Qasim were unwilling. Reddy faced opposition from Andhra Pradesh CM Vengal Rao and K. Raghuramaiah.

Lanka insurgency

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party government has been alerted to a fast-developing insurgency. PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike alerted the Leader of Opposition, J.R. Jayawardene of the situation and warned him of imminent disaster. The Jathika Vimukti Peramuna, which masterminded the 1971 insurrection in which hundreds lost their lives, is now advocating a “peacefu1 revolution”. Its leader, Rohana Wijayaweera, is still in prison.