Forty Years Ago: November 2, 1979
Speakers at a Delhi symposium on “the relevance of Nehru today” made an impassioned plea for the need to uphold the ideals and policies of Jawaharlal Nehru, particularly when attacks on this “great statesman have become more frequent and open.’’ In fact, H N Bahuguna, leader of the Congress for Democracy, in an obvious reference to the Janata leader, Jagjivan Ram, who was present at the symposium, said that “time has come when all the defenders of Nehru should unite.” The symposium was organised by the Krishna Menon Memorial Society.
Cong-Lok Dal ties
The question mark over the Congress and the Lok Dal fighting the elections on a joint manifesto got a little shorter but did not look like getting deleted altogether. C Subramaniam, Chandrajit Yadav and Banke Behari Das — Congress leaders, had a one-and-a-half hour meeting with Prime Minister Charan Singh to iron out the manifesto kinks. An informed Congress source said that the two parties had agreed that the 27-point programme of the alliance government would form the basis of the joint manifesto. Narendra Singh, general secretary of Lok Dal, was also present at today’s meeting.
Talking to newsmen at the Ram Manohar Lohia Nursing Home, Raj Narain, working president of the Lok Dal, said the Congress had become irrelevant in today’s context. “If they cannot merge with the Lok Dal, the least they could do was to stay in the alliance by agreeing to a minimum programme without trying to find fault with it.” Narain said that he could not prepare himself to accept Nehruism — “We dissociated ourselves with the Congress because of our opposition to Nehruism. Even Mahatma Gandhi had said that the role of the Congress was over with the attainment of independence”.