Prime Minister Morarji Desai said that India would try its best to talk things over with China and resolve problems arising from “our lands in its occupation”. He said, A B Vajpayee would “certainly go to China” despite Indira Gandhi’s unfounded charge that the external affairs minister’s visit stemmed from a desire to “please the USA”. He said the unfairness of the charge of Mrs Gandhi “who was fighting an election in Karnataka”, could be gauged from the fact that she herself had (during the Emergency) initiated the move to normalise relations by appointing a full-fledged ambassador in Peking. The Janata government was merely pursuing this move. He said relations with China could not be considered to have attained a condition of uninhibited friendliness until “we have got back our lands”.
Bowing to the pro-Indira Gandhi opinion within the organisation, the Congress Parliamentary Board has virtually extended its support to her candidature in the Chikmagalur byelection to the Lok Sabha. By a unanimous resolution, the board called upon all Congressmen to actively oppose the Janata nominee. The resolution makes no mention of the Congress (I) or its nominee but is a strong indictment of the policies and performance of the Janata government at the Centre. Congress President Swaran Singh said it was for the local Congressmen in the constituency to decide which was the best way to defeat the Janata Party.
US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance has left Moscow without reaching agreement with the Soviet Union on a new treaty limiting strategic weapons, Radio Moscow reported. Vance, who concluded his two-day talks in Moscow by meeting Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, said both sides were “committed to the prompt and successful conclusion, a new treaty”.