• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION India's new Prime Minister is 81 year of Mr Morarji Desai. He succeeds Mrs?

  • Description

    GV INTERIOR: New Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai being sworn in by acting president Basappa Jatti.

    SV: government officials applauding.

    SV: Desai signing document.

    SCU: Desai speaking in English.

    GV: Desai posing for photographers with President Jatti.

    TRANSCRIPT SEQ 4: DESAI: "And today I have taken oath as the prime Minister of this country. This is the most ancient of all countries, with a very great culture which does not have many precedents or many similarities with others. And I am overwhelmed by the responsibilities which are put on me. The country has responded in a magnificent manner against tyranny and against undemocratic functioning of government."

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Mr Desai's main rival for leadership, Mr Jagjivan Ram, said on Thursday that his Congress for Democracy Party would not join the new government. The Janata Party holds an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha (lower house), with 271 out of 542 seats, with three still to be filled. In a statement Mr Ram said that the CFD would continue as a separate party in parliament and outside, but would "extend all support to the Janata Party in accordance with the election manifesto." Mr Desai is a practising member of the Hindu religion, a vegetarian, teetotaller, sexual enunciate and yogi. In other words he maintains all the traditions of orthodox Hinduism, but is seen from the outside as a rather austere figure, aloof in manner and at times even arrogant. He has twice previously Mrs Ghandi -- in 1966 1967, loosing both times, but the 1977 elections have finally brought him to the forefront of international politics.

    Initials RH/MF/JB/0045


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION India's new Prime Minister is 81 year of Mr Morarji Desai. He succeeds Mrs Indira Gandhi who held the post for eleven years and is the first non-Congress party prime Minister. Mr Desai is leader of the Janata People's Party, which was formed out of an alliance of four non-communist opposition parties only two months ago and swept to power in general elections last week, ending the Congress party's 30 year's of dominance of indian politics since independence.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr Desai was sworn in as Prime Minister by the acting President of india, Mr Basappa Jatti in New Delhi on Thursday (24 March). Earlier his election was approved by members of his party -- but it also caused an immediate split in the alliance which brought him to power. After the ceremony Mr Desai spoke about his new responsibilities.

    Mr Desai also described the general elections as a "silent non-violent revolution unique in the history of the world."

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