The government contradicted reports that it is planning to hold elections in March 1977. Minister of State for Home Affairs Om Mehta said the reports appearing about elections being planned for March were purely speculative and without any basis. Mehta said a guessing game had apparently been started because of the process of normalisation set in motion by the prime minister. A number of opposition leaders have been released and the releases were going on steadily all over the country. Although the opposition parties have not yet dissolved the Lok Sangharsh Samiti or called off the agitation which was set in motion prior to the Emergency, the prime minister has been taking the necessary steps which would encourage normal democratic functioning of political parties,” he said. Mehta expressed the hope that the opposition parties would extend their cooperation to the prime minister in this regard.
The government revoked the detention order against Lala Jagat Narain, former Punjab minister and ex-MP. Lala Jagat Narain was detained under MISA.
“Many hundreds, if not thousands,” have died in an uprising by supporters of Mao Zedong’s in China’s Szechwan province, the West German news agency DPA reported from Peking. DPA said Chinese sources reported fighting in at least 10 provinces, mostly in south China. The armed forces crushed the centres of the rebellion but bloody disturbances were continuing. According to DPA, the sources said the new pockets of resistance developed after the arrest in October of Mao’s widow, Jiang Qing, and the other three ultra-leftists on the politburo. This indicated that the rebellion broke out before the purge. The rebels reportedly fought with hand-made spears and stone axes as well as some guns.