• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: In India, veteran diplomat Mrs. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit has announced her intention to campaign?

  • Description

    GV Mrs. Pandit seated next to Jagjiwan Ram and other officials before making statement

    SV Newsmen

    SV Mrs. Pandit speaking

    TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 3) MRS. PANDIT: "For a long time now I have been uneasy, I have been distressed and I have not been able to reconcile all the views I have held in these many years of my adult life with what is happening in the country today. While they were small differences I kept silent -- even when I saw that the drift of the government was going in a direction which was painful to me -- and I thought, not in the interests of the country, I remained quiet. But when the emergency was declared and one by one I saw the manner in which the things which are considered essential for the life and growth of democracy were being suffocated--the institutions on which democracy is based were being downgraded, then I felt I couldn't live at..........peace with myself. I may have one year to live, I may live a few more years, but I could not live at peace with myself if I did not come out and demand that the corrosion, or the erosion or whatever you like to call it that was taking place, was stopped."


    Mrs Pandit, who retired from politics in 1969, also said that she had remained a passive spectator far too long and that she would campaign for the opposition in stiff constituencies where she felt her help would be needed But she added that despite her dislike of current trends in Indian politics, she loved her niece Mrs Gandhi dearly and would not campaign in the latter's Rae Barelli constituency in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh "I will do nothing that may injure the person of Mrs Gandhi or hurt her emotionally" Mrs Pandit declared.

    Initials BB/1720

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION: In India, veteran diplomat Mrs. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit has announced her intention to campaign for opposition parties in next month's general elections. Mrs. Pandit is a sister of the late Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and aunt to the present Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. She was president of the United Nations General Assembly in 1953/54, and represented her country as ambassador to both the United States and the Soviet Union.

    SYNOPSIS: Speaking at a news conference in Delhi on Monday (14 February) 76 year old Mrs. Pandit made it clear that she was opposed to recent government trends. The conference took place at the home of Mr. Jagjiwan Ram, who recently left Mrs. Gandhi's ruling Congress Party and set himself up in opposition.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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