Sanjay On Liquor
Sanjay Gandhi said prohibition was an excellent policy if it could be implemented, but it would only worsen the situation if it led to illicit distillation. In an interview with a Hindi daily, he said: “I am not against prohibition as such but I think it is meaningless to have prohibition without a strong enough machinery to implement it.” Illicit liquor, he agreed, harmed only the poor as the rich would not touch it.
Soni To RS
Defence Minister Bansi Lal, two ministers of state, Om Mehta and Vithal Gadgil, and the Youth Congress chief Ambika Soni were given the Congress ticket for fighting the Rajya Sabha biennial elections. Significantly, the name of Planning Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, who was elected to the Upper House from Punjab, did not figure in the first batch of Congress names.
PM On Constitution
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said changes in the Constitution should be made only when it was “very necessary” and that too in consultation with large sections of the people. Addressing a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party on the eve of the budget session, Gandhi said committees had been set up to discuss legal and constitutional matters. It was “very necessary” to know the views and difficulties of the common people apart from the intelligentsia, she said.
Tribunals and local-level authorities were to be set up to ensure summary implementation of land ceiling laws. A chief ministers conference in Delhi also resolved to complete most land reforms by June 20, 1976. The conference also favoured further changes in the law and Constitution to insulate land reform laws from judicial review. It was suggested further steps be taken to deal with benami holdings, which had defeated land ceiling laws in the past.