Mrs Indira Gandhi was elected leader of her Congress (I) Party on Thursday (10 January), becoming India's Prime Minister-designate.
GV AND SV: Charan Singh and party officials seated. (4 shots)
GV: President Reddy's residence.
SV; President Reddy and Mr. Singh shaking hand and talking
GV: Jagjivan Ram's residence
SV AND CU: Mr. Ram and party workers talking (3 shots)
GV: Gandhi-supporters crowding around Mrs. Indira Gandhi (2 shots)
GV AND SV: Crowd chanting support as Mrs. Gandhi receives flowers and garlands from supporters. (3 shots)
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Background: Mrs Indira Gandhi was elected leader of her Congress (I) Party on Thursday (10 January), becoming India's Prime Minister-designate. The Indian President, Mr Reddy, asked her to form a government -- and she promised to stay in power `for many years'.
SYNOPSIS: Her jubilation was not shared by the outgoing caretaker Prime Minister, Mr Charan Singh. He called on the opposition parties, which won only a third of the seats in the general election, to unite in defence of democracy and against authoritarianism. Mrs. Gandhi claimed she and her family had been persecuted by the Janata government -- but would not think of vendettas or reprisals.
The 62-year-old Mrs Gandhi was called for President Reddy's official residence after the President had received the resignation of Mr Singh. Later, she maintained the Janata and Lok Dal parties had left the country in ruins. She called on her supporters to resume a struggle to remove poverty and social and economic injustices -- and urged her party colleagues to show humility in victory.
Janata leader Jagjivan Ram, in a statement at his home, explained why he thought the party had done so badly. He said the reasons included high prices -- inflation in India is running at around twenty percent -- and in-fighting in the party. Mr Ram is unlikely to be offered a Cabinet post by Mrs. Gandhi.
Mrs Gandhi's party won two thirds of seats in Parliament, enough to give her the power to change the constitution. She and her son, Sanjay face charges in courts set up by the Janata Government for alleged offences during her period of emergency rule in 1975 to 1977. Sanjay is free on appel following a corruption conviction, but he was elected to Parliament in the general election and may be given a Cabinet job by his mother. Mrs. Gandhi has promised firm discipline and a crackdown on lawlessness during her on lawlessness during her term in office.