October 5, 1978, Forty Years Ago: Janata rift

Raj Narain and his friends used the Kanti affair and the government’s refusal to set up an inquiry commission, and Desai’s statement on nuclear policy and Sikkim to attack the PM.

By: Editorial | Updated: October 5, 2018 12:02:49 am
Express page of October 5, 1978.

Janata rift

While followers of Raj Narain and Madhu Limaye launched a strong attack on the prime minister, the Janata Party in Parliament seemed to be lining up behind Morarji Desai as the JPP began its three-day session. Raj Narain and his friends used the Kanti affair and the government’s refusal to set up an inquiry commission, and Desai’s statement on nuclear policy and Sikkim to attack the PM. These, they said had affected the party’s image. Desai’s supporters, who were clearly in a majority, hit back saying that open outbursts by Raj Narain and his colleagues against the leadership had done a great deal of harm to the party.

London Divided

Mrs Indira Gandhi should expect a mixed reception when she visits London to attend the birthday celebrations of Jawaharlal Nehru. The news of Mrs Gandhi’s possible visit next month as a result of a Delhi court’s granting her permission to go abroad was prominently published, in British and European newspapers. The possibility of her visit has created political activity not only in the Indian community but in British ruling circles. The Indian community in the UK is divided between “pro” and “anti” Mrs Gandhi factions and so is the overseas Indian Congress. Those who are opposed to her may even stage hostile demonstrations to express their feelings against what she did during her 20-month Emergency rule.

Beg Stone-pelted

Mirza Mohd Afzal Beg, former Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, could not address his scheduled public meeting in Srinagar as a group of young men broke it by pelting stones just when a couple of speakers had made brief speeches and pledged their support to Beg. Beg had to leave the venue amidst heavy pelting of stones by these young men raising pro-Sheikh Abdullah slogans. The shamiana and speakers were pulled down as a scared audience dispersed.

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