December 10, 1978, Forty Years Ago
Charan Singh’s decision to stay away once and for all from the government has not ended the crisis in the Janata; it has only aggravated it. The dissident ministers, who have been working to revive the party’s credibility, feel that the image will go down further by keeping Singh out of the government though they do note “some spirit of accommodation” on the part of Morarji Desai who after months came to agree to Singh becoming deputy prime minister. They hope that the PM will also face the fact that without a drastic reorganisation of the Cabinet and time-bound economic programme, the government’s reputation cannot be retrieved.
George on Charan
George Fernandes expressed his regret that Charan Singh had declined to rejoin the Desai Cabinet despite his best efforts to persuade him. Fernandes, who was here on his way to Tripoli to attend the Indo-Libyan Joint Commission, told newsmen that he had been trying to persuade Singh to rejoin the Cabinet. Although there was no change in his position, yet if he had agreed to “come in” the government as well as the Janata Party would have been strengthened. Asked whether the government was at present weak, Fernandes said that it was not so. But what he would like to more dynamism in terms of “action and speed in the implementation of the policy and programmes”. In this connection, he referred to the proposed setting up of a workers’ parliament, wherein trade union leaders could work out ways of working class involvement in national reconstruction.
Bihar quota stir
The Bihar government requisitioned additional CRPF and BSF personnel to quell the anti-reservation violence as the agitation against the government’s job policy flared up further, official sources said. While the additional CRPF reached the state capital from neighbouring states in addition to four battalions already stationed, a large number of BSF jawans were on route.\