INTRODUCTION: As India's general election campaigns reach their final stages, one of the country's top newspaper editors, George Verghese, continues his bid for a seat as an opposition candidate.
GVs: supporters marching to election rally for general election candidate George Verghese in Kerale State, India.
SVs: Verghese arriving at rally and fireworks exploding. (2 shots)
SCU AND GV: Verghese addressing rally. (2 shots)
GV: supporters chanting.
CU: Verghese addressing rally.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 5: VERGHESE:"I'm not a politician, but a journalist, but like many other professionals, I found that under the circumstances of the emergency it was not possible for a professional to function as objectively or honestly in all circumstances. And, with the loss of our freedom, and with press censorship and with the suppression of news and news management, it became extremely difficult to function. And to restore these rights under conditions of censorship, one cannot fight it through the newspapers, one can fight it through politics.
Voting takes place from 16-20 March, and one of the major issues developing late in the campaign is the question of stability. The opposition alliance of the major non-communist left-wing parties - The Janata party - denies Mrs Gandhi's charges that it will split over the leadership if it wins.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: As India's general election campaigns reach their final stages, one of the country's top newspaper editors, George Verghese, continues his bid for a seat as an opposition candidate. Mr Verghese was formerly Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's Publicity adviser, but turned against her when she imposed press censorship in declaring a state of emergency last year.
SYNOPSIS: Mr Verghese is standing as an independent candidate, supported by the alliance of the opposition parties. He's concentrating his campaigning on the smaller villages, and on Sunday (6 March) he visited several in the communist-dominated state of Kerala. On most days throughout the campaign, he has visited at least 20 villages.
He's been receiving enthusiastic receptions, and Sunday's rally was preceded by an impressive show of fireworks.
Mr Verghese resigned as Mrs Gandhi's adviser in 1968 to join the Hindustan Times as its Editor in Chief. Following the imposition of press censorship, he was sacked because of his outspoken criticism of the government. His campaign is financed by Indian journalists, and his election campaign rests on promises to end the suppression of the news.