The Opposition launched a do-or-die campaign to oust Indira Gandhi from the prime minister’s office, Congress (O) leader Morarji Desai told a massive rally at the Ramlila grounds in Delhi on Sunday. But the campaign would not be fought on the streets as suggested by Congress president D.K. Baruah, but through non-violent measures, including mass satyagraha. It would be like 1942, when the Quit India movement was launched. Despite persistent rain, a large crowd listened to the Opposition leaders. BLD leader Raj Narain, Jana Sangh president L.K. Advani and Socialist Party leader Madhu Limaye were among those who spoke.
Jayaprakash Narayan’s flight, meant to bring the Sarvodaya leader to Delhi from Patna for the Opposition rally, was mysteriously cancelled. The Indian Airlines spokesperson in Delhi said it could not take off from Calcutta due to bad weather, while his counterpart in Calcutta blamed “technical reasons”.
In JP’s absence, leaders of the five Janata Front parties couldn’t agree on a common strategy to consolidate opposition unity before the Lok Sabha elections. BLD leader Charan Singh said only a merger of the five parties could help the Opposition present a national alternative to the Congress, whereas others favoured the Gujarat experiment, where parties fought as allies.
Industrial unrest claimed two lives. Mihir De, vice president of the CITU-controlled Chittaranjan Locomotive Works union and B.N. Singh, president of the Chittaranjan Block Congress, were killed in post-bandh clashes.
South Korea asked all government employees to be on special alert for any military action by North Korea against the South, a report from Seoul said.