Forty years ago, December 9, 1979: Sanjay factor
Despite repeated assertions by Indira Gandhi about her son’s non-interference in the affairs of her party, the “Sanjay factor” is reportedly influencing the selection of Congress (I) candidates significantly. Three of the remaining four party candidates from Delhi, whose names were announced on December 8, are understood to be nominees of Mrs Gandhi’s son.
Jagdish Tytler, who has been selected for a Sadar seat and Sajjan Kumar, who has been named for Outer Delhi were among the Youth Congress volunteers in the forefront for implementation of Sanjay’s five-point programme during the Emergency. Dharm Das Shastri, who has been selected for the Karol Bagh reserved seat is also a staunch supporter and was also active during the Emergency.
Assam is likely to be brought under President’s Rule. The governor for Northeastern states, L P Singh, is understood to have informed New Delhi of the ministerial crisis created by the decision of the 22-member Congress Legislative Party and the six-member CPI parliamentary group to withdraw support to the Assam Janata Dal ministry, which has reduced it to a minority government.
The governor has viewed with concern the virtual collapse of the state administrative machinery as a result of the series of bandhs and the picketing by satyagrahis to press for postponement of elections till the names of “foreign nationals” are deleted from the electoral rolls.
President Jimmy Carter told families of American hostages held in Iran that “I am not going to take any military action that would cause bloodshed or rouse the unstable captors of our hostages to attack them or to punish them. It is going to be very moderate, very cautious. Our purpose is to get the hostages home and get them safe. That is our total commitment”.