Prime Minister Indira Gandhi deplored the attitude of the Opposition parties as confrontationist but offered to meet their leaders to discuss national issues. She said that solutions to most problems facing the country were beyond one organisation or one party and had to be seen from a much broader point of view. The prime minister, however, agreed that the Opposition had a right to voice its opinion and criticise the government. Indira Gandhi was most critical of the BJP, which she preferred to call the Jana Sangh. Asked how the government planned to deal with agitations in different parts of the country, the prime minister said that “there was no question of dealing with them”. She also said the current world situation was full of “dangers and difficulties”.
The Karnataka Chief Minister Gundu Rao has asked the state’s agriculture minister S Bangarappa to resign from the cabinet. Bangarappa, the number two in the cabinet, returned from a long tour of the districts and attended the cabinet meeting. The chief minister is said to have expressed his displeasure at some of the statements by Bangarappa during this tour. The state agriculture minister had expressed his disapproval of the way the Karnataka government was being run and talked about efforts to distance him from the poor.
Police Acts Rough
On the first day of the International year for the disabled, the Delhi Police roughed up 100 men near the Prime Minister’s house and detained about 80 of them. They were part of a procession that had marched to the PM’s house to submit a memorandum to her.
Iran and US
The US hostage crisis is coming to an end “in one way the other,” according to Radio Tehran. The radio insisted that Iran had made its last proposals on the issue and would not retreat from them. If the US doesn’t accept the proposals, the Iranian government will put the hostages on trial.