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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Forty Years Ago, July 24, 1980: Abdullah’s Suspicion

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi disowned any plan to topple the Sheikh Abdullah ministry in Jammu and Kashmir.

By: Editorial | July 24, 2020 1:50:25 am
The Indian Express front page, July 24, 1980. (Express archive)

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi disowned any plan to topple the Sheikh Abdullah ministry in Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Minister Abdullah, who met Mrs Gandhi in Delhi on July 23, told journalists that she had told him that she was not aware of any conspiracy to oust his government and instil the Congress-I in office. Nor did she ever support such policies. Since the PM had denied such a move, he had to believe her, Abdullah said. But the chief minister did not hide his feeling that someone in the Centre was supporting the state Cong-I elements who had been trying to create law and order problem and instability with a view to bringing down his ministry. Why could not the Central leadership and Mrs Gandhi discipline their party unit in the state, he asked.

Industrial Policy

The government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi will have a set of “pragmatic policies” which will remove constraints on industrial production and act as catalysts for faster growth. This is reflected in the statement on industrial policy presented in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for industry, Charnjit Chanana. The 33-month rule by the Janata Party and its successor government have come in for severe indictment in the statement, which indicates that the district industries centres scheme will be abandoned in favour of better alternatives.

Afghan Turmoil

The Khalq and Parcham factions of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan seemed moving towards a showdown with one more minister reportedly placed under arrest and two others shot dead. Radio Pakistan said that the communication minister, Colonel Aslam Watanjar had been arrested and the education minister and vice minister of the interior had been shot dead two days ago in Kabul. Watanjar is considered to be close to Moscow.

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