PM on China ties
Morarji Desai said that there could be no friendship with China as long as the border dispute was not settled. The prime minister told reporters in Ahmedabad that he had made this clear to the Chinese delegation, which visited India recently. Desai said he also told the delegation that if China had anything to say on the subject it should put forward that. The Prime Minister said the latest move for normalising relations had come from the Chinese side. He took exception to Mrs Gandhi’s reported statement that the Janata government was seeking friendship with China at the instance of the US. Desai pointed out that approaches between China and India had begun at the time when Mrs Gandhi was the prime minister.
Advani on Indira
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister L K Advani said “Rae Bareli brought about the downfall of Indira Gandhi, and now the Chikmagalur by-election will bring about her political death”. Summing up his impressions of a two-day election tour of Chikmagalur, Advani said he was confident that he would be able to welcome Veerendra Patil as Janata member in the Lok Sabha on November 20, the opening day of the winter session of Parliament. He said he was surprised that Mrs Gandhi decided to contest from Karnataka when by-elections were held in the speaking states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
FM on state finances
Union Finance Minister H M Patel said the economy and finances of the country were never so good as today and the Janata government had achieved in one-and-a-half years what Mrs Gandhi could not achieve in 11 years. Reacting sharply to Mrs Gandhi’s allegation that the foreign exchange reserves had depleted considerably during the Janata regime and the country’s economy was ruined, Patel said: “Mrs Gandhi is an expert in telling lies and she tells nothing but lies”.