CFD ministers resign
All the eight CFD ministers, seven of cabinet rank and one minister of state, have handed over their resignations to their party leader, H N Bahuguna. One of the CFD ministers said this had been done to assure Bahuguna that “all of us are with him and follow his direction whatever it may be.” The CFD ministers are in the Banarasi Das ministry so long as Bahuguna desires and they will quit en bloc the moment he takes a decision on new power equations. According to CFD sources, Bahuguna is expected to announce his decision within the next 24 hours and possibly the CFD would be joining hands with the Congress (I).
No CPM-CPI ties
The left front’s talks with the CPI for an electoral understanding for the ensuing Lok Sabha election have failed over seats distribution. At talks between leaders of the CPI and the front, the latter stuck to its offer of only two seats to the CPI whereas the CPI desired atleast four seats, though it had earlier presented a list of seven seats. Soon thereafter, the front chairman, Promode Das Gupta, announced the list of candidates for all the 42 seats in West Bengal for the Lok Sabha. However, he said if the CPI accepted two seats before the front’s election rally on November 4, the party would be welcomed into its fold.
The defence minister, C Subramaniam, virtually underscored Charan Singh’s stand that India would have to reconsider its policy if Pakistan were to go nuclear. Singh had utilised his Independence Day speech to make his position known on the issue. Subramaniam was speaking on “India’s defence strategy for the Eighties” at the National Defence College. The defence minister told senior officers who constituted his audience that India had already had a situation of asymmetry vis-a-vis China and if Pakistan were to develop a nuclear arsenal then a second situation of asymmetry to India’s disadvantage would develop.