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Forty Years Ago, March 13, 1977: The big fight

There is no mistaking the strength of popular feeling against the Congress Party, but it usually stops short of wishing Mrs Gandhi defeat.

March 13, 2017 1:15:07 am

Janata Party, Raj Narain, Indira Gandhi, Rae Bareli Congress, Jayaprakash Narayan, Indira Gandhi Congress, Indira Gandhi Aligarh, Congress minorities, Indian Express 1977, Raj Narain Janata Party, India news

The ‘Janata wave’ is carrying an ebullient Raj Narain on its crest but it may not be able to lift him high enough to sweep over the electoral fortifications built up by the prime minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, in a decade of representing Rae Bareli. There is no mistaking the strength of popular feeling against the Congress Party, but it usually stops short of wishing Mrs Gandhi defeat, a report from the constituency said.

JP on Janata

“The Janata Party is to all intents and purposes a genuine single united party and it has come to stay,” declared Jayaprakash Narayan, in an interview with A.G. Noorani. JP added that the opposition parties had realised that if the country had to be saved for democracy, “they must come together not merely as an alliance but as a united party”. JP said “it is for the first time in parliamentary history in India that the opposition parties have come together in such a manner. It is true that they just now have their separate identities but they are all pledged to a complete merger after the election. They have only to call their conferences and get the decisions of the leaders to unite ratified by the general councils in a democratic manner. I am sure that this will be done and the Janata Party will emerge as a single united democratic party. They will be well on the way towards a two-party system, which is the best system in a parliamentary democracy.

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Indira in Aligarh

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said in Aligarh that “with a strong and stable centre, the Congress alone can protect the minorities and Harijans in the country and ensure their progress and prosperity”. She said the 20-point economic programme had made rapid strides and benefited the middle class as well as the weaker sections of the society.

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First published on: 13-03-2017 at 01:15:07 am
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