Forty years ago, October 23, 1979: Polls dates soonhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/forty-years-ago-october-23-1979-polls-dates-soon-6082745/

Forty years ago, October 23, 1979: Polls dates soon

October 23, 1979: President N Sanjeeva Reddy has appealed to the people ‘’not to give credence to rumours which suggest that a postponement ol the elections is imminent”.

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Indian Express front page October 23, 1979

The poll schedule for the mid-term election to the Lok Sabha will be announced in a few days. With this assurance President N Sanjeeva Reddy has appealed to the people ‘’not to give credence to rumours which suggest that a postponement ol the elections is imminent”.

Reddy’s assurance and appeal were contained in a broadcast to the nation. The brief speech was devoted entirely to the forthcoming elections. He pointed out that all parties were in favour of an orderly poll. Everything possible was being done to conduct it in an orderly and impartial manner. The Chief Election Commissioner would make the formal announcement in a few days, he said.

PM Unhappy

While the President’s assurance that the elections will not be postponed is bound to be welcomed by the opposition parties, his broadcast to the nation has thrown up an irritant in his relations with caretaker Prime Minister Charan Singh.

Available information suggests that the President’s address to the nation had not been approved by the Cabinet, nor had a copy of the speech been sent to the caretaker government. Inquiries show that no consultation has taken place between the President and the PM. Charan Singh, in informal conversations , has reportedly expressed surprise as well as unhappiness over the President’s speech.

Charan Must Explain

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The Janata Party demanded that Charan Singh should disclose “other circumstances” which had prompted him to demand H N Bahuguna’s resignation from the Cabinet. The party spokesman Piloo Mody said that “this is something which this caretaker government on daily wages will have to explain.

Do we return to the status quo-ante and the situation in which Charan Singh and Bahuguna levelled serious charges against each other?” He was referring to a reported remark by Singh in his letter to Bahuguna.