Forty Years Ago, June 25, 1979: Congress Expels Urs
The Congress (I) Working Committee expelled Karnataka chief minister, Devaraj Urs, from the party for six years, holding him guilty of “the worst type of anti-party activity, indiscipline and betrayal of the faith the Congress (I) reposed in him”. The decision of the working committee, which was more or less a foregone conclusion, virtually splits the party in Karnataka. The split may possibly spread to other states since Urs had started mobilising support in other states and at the national level in anticipation of the party high command’s decision to expel him. The working committee, which discussed Urs’s reply to the show-cause notice served on him and passed a resolution expelling him from the party for six years, also called upon him to “resign from the position as a member of the Legislative Assembly”.
Urs’ Own Congress
Devaraj Urs said in Bangalore that the pradesh party owing allegiance to him would function as “Karnataka Congress.” Urs, who is also the chief minister, announced that he would step down from the party presidentship in favour of the PCC Vice President, Siddarama Reddi, tomorrow. The 64-year-old Karnataka leader said he had taken the expulsion “in my stride”. The State Congress (I), which had been dissolved by the high command is meeting here for two days from tomorrow.
Curfew has been reclamped on Saitual town in eastern Mizoram bordering Burma following an armed attack by hostile Mizos on a bank there last night. A massive combing operation has been launched to pick up the rebel Mizo National Front gang and five persons have been taken into custody. According to official sources at Aizawl, a gang of rebel Mizos was seen taking up positions around the bank at midnight. Police reinforcements have been rushed to the troubled area.