Even as a majority of the employees of the state secretariat in Dispur abstained from work for a second day as part of their non-cooperation programme, bringing the civil administration to a near halt, 1,200 Oil India employees working in different units of the Gauhati refinery joined ONGC workers in a “cease work” movement, seriously threatening supplies of kerosene, petrol and other petroleum products. While the civil servants are agitating to press their 11-point demands and to mourn the death of their colleague in police firing last week, the oil employees are opposing the efforts of the government to take crude oil from Assam with the help of the Army.
The Janata Party has expressed concern over the rapid deterioration of the economy, leading to a 20 per cent rise in prices in the 10 months since Prime Minister Indira Gandhi took office. In its resolution on the economic situation, the national executive of the party said that this government, which was voted to power with the slogan “vote for a government that works” has in reality been preoccupied with political manoeuvres.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein offered to withdraw troops from captured Iranian lands “tomorrow” in exchange for Iran’s “full recognition” of Iraq’s rights. In an address to Iraq radio, Hussein called his peace offer “humanistic”. But he also warned that his military, if ordered to press ahead in the Persian Gulf, “has a suitable plan to do so”.
Early voter turnout in the 49th US presidential election was reported to be very heavy and this was seen as a good omen for President Jimmy Carter, who is locked in a close fight with Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. Democratic voters outnumber Republican sympathisers and a heavy turnout is usually said to benefit Democratic nominees.
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