INTRODUCTION: As India's general elections draw nearer, Prime Minister India Gandhi and opposition party leaders continue their active campaigning throughout the country.
GV India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi arrives for rally, cheered by supporters. (2 shots)
SV Mrs. Gandhi being garlanded with flowers by supporters.
GV Crowd gathered awaiting Mrs. Gandhi's speech.
SV AND GV Mrs. Gandhi on to platform and speaking to crowd. (4 shots)
GV Opposition party leader, Jagjivan Ram, in car surrounded by supporters. (2 shots)
GV AND SV Mr. Ram addressing rally. (4 shots)
Initials VS 18.30
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Background: INTRODUCTION: As India's general elections draw nearer, Prime Minister India Gandhi and opposition party leaders continue their active campaigning throughout the country.
SYNOPSIS: On Monday (21 February) Mrs. Gandhi took her canvassing outside of New Delhi. She addressed a rally in Jagtal in West Bengal and told supporters the opposition parties united against her were an unholy alliance. Mrs. Gandhi said that if they toppled her ruling Congress Party. India would be weakened.
Mrs. Gandhi's facing the most serious challenge yet of her turbulent political career and most of the 320 million voters are faced with a simple choice -- vote either for or against her.
Mrs. Gandhi says the elections are not over the question of who should be Prime Minister, but of the stability and economic development of India. She questioned whether the parties who have formed the opposition alliance could, with divergent views and policies, remain united after the election.
Her main opposition comes from the JANATA Party, a grouping of the four main non-Communist parties. JANATA is also allied to the Congress for Democracy, a group formed by former supporters of Mrs. Gandhi.
The Congress for Democracy is led by Jagjivan Ram and he attended a rally in Bihar, also near West bengal on the same day. His party claims Indians face a "dark night of decades without democracy" if they re-elect Mrs. Gandhi. It has promised it would free all political prisoners, restore civil liberties and freedom of the news media and end the emergency rule imposed 19 months ago.
Mr. Ram was Food Minister and Mrs. Gandhi's most senior colleague until he defected from the Congress Party earlier this month. His party's manifesto has warned voters that next month's election is the last chance for India to revert to democracy. It ways its foreign policy would include friendship with India's neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh and with Socialist countries.