While rejecting fresh privilege notices which had arisen out of the Kuo Oil deal issue, Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, M Hidayatullah ruled that the “Rajya Sabha is incompetent to meddle in the affairs of the Committee on Public Undertakings.” All six Opposition members on the Public Undertakings Committee and the Public Accounts Committee resigned in protest. The decision was taken following a meeting of the leaders of Opposition parties in the House. They felt that the chairman’s ruling had reduced the Rajya Sabha to a second class position. The decision was unanimous.
Israel Drops Bombs
Israeli jets bombed West Beirut for the fifth day in a row as the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) said its forces repulsed a landing attempt by Israeli navy on the beach. The Israeli attack came amid a political controversy over reported PLO recognition of Israel. US presidential troubleshooter Philip Habib had talks with Jordan’s King Hussein on arrangements to evacuate Arafat’s estimated 8,000 guerrillas from Beirut.
Senior administration officials said that they expected Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s visit to lead to a “new tone” in the Indo-American relationship. They noted among other things that India is an effective functioning democracy and that the atmosphere for private investment in India has markedly improved.
At least 25 people were swept away in a flash flood in the Damodar in Burdwan district. The district magistrate of Burdwan said a group of pilgrims were wading through the knee-deep water of the river when the water came gushing.