The Janata (S), the Socialist Party (Limaye group) and the Orissa Janata Party formally merged into a new party called “Lok Dal”. Charan Singh was elected its president and Raj Narain working president”. The birth of the new party was, however, marked by a setback when H N Bahuguna, leader of the CFD faction, decided to keep out of it. His group had earlier decided to join the new party and had submitted to Charan Singh a 31-point programme for inclusion in its manifesto.
It is learnt that Charan Singh was cool to Bahuguna’s programme. This morning when the convention began, the CFD delegates were conspicuous by their absence. So were many others, including Madhu Limaye, Karpoori Thakur, Biju Patnaik and S N Mishra, who, it turned out later, were busy persuading Bahuguna to join the convention.
The Kashmir Assembly has passed the officially-sponsored Anti-Defection Bill. As soon as the Bill was passed, the entire Opposition staged a walk-out in protest. The Bill, which provides for an amendment in the Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, seeks to disqualify a member from membership of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council if he voluntarily gives up the membership of the political party which had set him up as a candidate in an election. The Bill also provides for disqualifying a member if he votes or abstains from voting in the legislature contrary to a whip issued by such a political party.
Carter On Cuba
US President Jimmy Carter called Cuba a “puppet” of the Soviet Union and said that despite Soviet claims to the contrary, the Russian troops in Cuba were combat forces. Carter noted that Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko had tacitly denied that the Soviets in Cuba were combat forces. Carter also that if the status quo in Cuba does not change, he will take “appropriate action”.
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