September 21, 1979, Forty Years Ago: India-Nepal Bond
India has great interest in helping Nepal harness its river resources and in purchasing the surpluses that cannot be utilised within Nepal. This was stated by President Sanjiva Reddy in his banquet speech in honour of King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya. President Reddy said: “We have great interest in co-operating with you to make your projects viable.” The president’s remarks are consistent with much of Indian diplomacy, even as Kathmandu has often shown an inclination to bring in such bodies as the World Bank to prepare feasibility reports for some such projects. He also applauded the king’s decision to hold a national referendum.
In spite of the disadvantages associated with a ruling party, especially when it has failed to solve the power crisis which has disrupted the economy, the CPM in West Bengal finds itself in a happy position vis-a-vis the upcoming parliamentary election. Parties and leaders of diverse hue are making approaches to the Marxists for alliance and seats. Apart from the constituents of the broad national alliance, H N Bahuguna, Union finance minister, is reported to have made discreet inquiries, if a seat could be offered to him in West Bengal. He would prefer a constituency in Burdwan since his ancestors had migrated to UP from this district.
As Vietnam pours fresh troops into Cambodia in preparation for a coming dry season offensive against the remaining Pol Pot guerillas, China is informing foreign visitors that it may have to “teach Hanoi a second lesson”. China analysts are studying recent movements which suggest that the people’s republic may be planning its own style of offensive in the dry season to put Vietnam under maximum pressure. Mass starvation has already hit the isolated Khmer Rouge areas in southwestern and northeastern Cambodia. Even in Phnom Penh, reports reveal widespread malnutrition in Vietnamese-controlled regions.