June 21, 1978, Forty Years Ago: Janata deadlockhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/june-21-1978-forty-years-ago-janata-deadlock-5226197/

June 21, 1978, Forty Years Ago: Janata deadlock

Pakistan has sought India’s support for the membership of the non-aligned group of nations. Since one of the conditions for joining the Non-Aligned Movement is that the country should not be part of any multilateral military alliance.

Font page of The Indian Express from forty years ago. (Archive)

Despite a series of high-level meetings in the capital, the Janata party continued to be deadlocked over the Raj Narain issue. The health minister has not shown any sign that he would resign from his position, demanding Chandra Shekhar’s ouster and reconstitution of the party’s National Executive. Raj Narain went one step further and questioned the competence of the Central Parliamentary Board which will meet to take action on his statements. On the other hand the party President, Chandra Shekhar, and General Secretary, Ramakrishna Hegde, affirmed that the Parliamentary Board was fully competent to discuss disciplinary matters

NAM and Pakistan

Pakistan has sought India’s support for the membership of the non-aligned group of nations. Since one of the conditions for joining the Non-Aligned Movement is that the country should not be part of any multilateral military alliance, India could sponsor Pakistan or support its sponsorship only after Pakistan quit the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO). This was the gist of what the Minister of External Affairs, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, told reporters at Delhi airport on arrival from London.

Ominous meeting

Jayaprakash Narayan appealed to the leaders of the Janata party to “defuse the situation as it has built up ominously these days” and create conditions for sorting out problems “which might do incalculable harm to the party that holds the steering wheel of the nation’s ship”. In a statement, Narayan said he had been watching with “deep anguish and pain the growing disunity in the ranks of the party and the way it is functioning”. The statement comes less than 46 hours before the Parliamentary Board of the Janata party is due to meet in Delhi to consider the statement of the Union Health minister Raj Narain, demanding, among many other things, the election of a “new president and a new executive committee.”

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