The three-day conference of ex-socialists at Pachmarhi appears to have been aimed at forming an anti-Jana Sangh front in the Madhya Pradesh Janata Party. The closed-door meeting, which was attended by members of all Janata constituents barring the Jana Sangh, was organised ostensibly to promote the ideals of Ram Manohar Lohia but was actually designed to bring all non-Jana Sangh partymen under the banner. The principal decision taken at the conference to press for the implementation of issues in the Janata manifesto is interpreted in political circles as the ex-socialists’ resolve to fight their dominant Jana Sangh partner on ideological issues.
CM Wins Trust Vote
UP Chief Minister Ram Naresh Yadav received an overwhelming vote of confidence from the Janata legislature party. However, the size of dissidence, represented by 103 members who voted against him, surprised the ministerialists. Of 376 valid votes, the CM received 273. George Fernandes, the central observer, announced that of the eight associate members, who do not have the voting rights, seven had written to him and stated orally that they supported the CM. The Janata Legislature Party has a strength of 388.
Zia Elected President
General Ziaur Rahman won a resounding victory in the first presidential election of Bangladesh. He polled over 154 lakh votes while his nearest rival, General Osmani, secured only 44 lakh votes.
An attorney for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said the deposed prime minister was in “comparatively better health’’ in the Rawalpindi district jail. His principal attorney, Yahya Bakhtiar, had reported two weeks ago that Bhutto’s health was declining, allegedly because of poor food and bad accommodation The attorney, after visiting Bhutto in the jail, said the former PM was now allowed food from outside.