The economic blockade of Assam by the West Bengal Youth Congress (I) sparked off yet another uproar in the Lok Sabha culminating in yet another walkout by opposition parties. At one point, the Lok Dal leader, George Fernandes, thumped the table and asked, “What is the use of this House?” Several members had submitted adjournment motions on the continuing blockade of Assam but the speaker said he had ruled them out. Madhu Dandavate (Janata) pointed out that since the beginning of the session, the speaker had not allowed a single adjournment motion despite the importance of the matter involved.
The Jana Sangh’s break with the Janata Party will be formalised before the national executive meeting on April 3. The Jana Sangh faction began a serious exercise for formalising the break with several group meetings at Sunder Singh Bhandari’s house in Delhi. Even the name of the new party was understood to have been discussed. According to informed sources, the Jana Sangh faction has almost made up its mind to form a new party. For this purpose, a convention is likely to be called in Delhi in April. One of the points still being debated is whether to invite only the Jana Sangh faction members to the convention or to make it slightly more broadbased by including “all those unattached who had merged with the Janata Party on May 1, 1977”.
Over 300 blind persons from all over the country participated in a rally organised by the National Federation of the Blind in Delhi. It started from the federation’s office in Paharganj and converged at the Boat Club. Earlier, a delegation of the blind met the Prime Minister and presented her with their demands. The memorandum urged the Prime Minister to treat the blind on the same footing as the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes as they had been socially and occupationally ostracised for centuries.
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