Raj Narain on notice
In a decision which is bound to have far-reaching consequences, the Central Parliamentary Board of the Janata Party censured Raj Narain for his tirade against the party president and for questioning the legitimacy of the National Executive. The Parliamentary Board, which met at the P M’s house to discuss the crisis, expressed its full confidence in Chandra Shekhar’s presidentship. It directed the party general secretary to seek Raj Narain’s explanation for making personal attacks on Chandra Shekhar and questioning the authority of the National Executive. The Parliamentary Board’s resolution was passed by all its members. The Charan Singh group is gathering at Suraj Kund to decide their future course of action.
Eyes on Charan Singh
How will Charan Singh react to the Janata Parliamentary Board’s decision to seek an explanation from Raj Narain for ills alleged acts of indiscipline? This was the subject of intense speculation in Delhi. According to some reports, Charan Singh told Biju Patnaik and others that if the board took a drastic action against Raj Narain he might quit the Cabinet.
Union industry minister George Fernandes, appealed again to central trade unions to give up their plan for a token strike on June 28 in the public sector and said the government was never averse to having negotiations with workers. In a letter to N K Krishnan, vice-president of the All India Trade Union Congress, Fernandes said many observations and recommendations made by the Bhoothalingam study group were in the interest of workers. He denied Krishnan’s allegations that the Janata government was anti-labour, anti-people and reactionary. On the contrary, the minister charged that the proposed one-day strike was “part of your overall strategy to denigrate the Janata government”.