INTRODUCTION: Three senior members of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's ruling Congress Party resigned on Wednesday (2 February) in protest against what they called tendencies towards despotic rule -- in both the ruling party, and the national government.
GVs Election posters in New Delhi, India, (2 shots)
SV Jagjiwan Ram (in centre) and supporters with Hemwati Bahuguna (on his right) walk from President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed's office
SV ZOOM TO CU Bahuguna talking to newsmen
SV Mr Ram speaking to newsmen
LV PAN (NIGHT SHOTS) Congress Party members seated
SV Prime Minister Gandhi and Party officials seated on platform with members facing them
CU Mrs Gandhi address members
RAM: "And though formally the resignation is not submitted to the President, I thought it proper to give a copy to him also, and to seek his goodness in the new venture that we are undertaking."
Later that night a Congress Party working committee meeting expressed its support for Mrs. Gandhi, and criticised the three who resigned. Mrs. Gandhi addressed the meeting and spoke about Mr. Ram's request for a relaxation of the emergency powers of the government.
MRS. GANDHI: "My reply was that this matter has been gone into, and many items are being relaxed, but perhaps the entire...the time has not come to entirely lift these now. He says that I think you may be able to deal with whatever situation arises with the normal powers. I said, I repeated what I said that this matter had been considered and we were not able to do that. However, since you have raised it, I will take it up with the Home Ministry again."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Three senior members of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's ruling Congress Party resigned on Wednesday (2 February) in protest against what they called tendencies towards despotic rule -- in both the ruling party, and the national government.
SYNOPSIS: The resignations came only six weeks before the forthcoming general election, and could seriously threaten the Congress Party's election prospects, according to daily newspaper. The three include Agriculture Minister Jagjiwan Ram, who has since come in for strong criticism from remaining Congress Party members.
One of the others was Mr. Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, a former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. Mr. Bahuguna commands a large following in the state and the resignations could mean a split in the party in northern India. The third party member to leave was Mrs. Nandini Satpathy, who resigned under pressure as Chief Minister of Orissa last December.
The three handed copies of their resignations to Indian President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. Mr. Ram explained why.