Forty years ago, October 8, 1979: Nair Govt Resigns

Forty years ago, October 8, 1979: Nair Govt Resigns
 P K Vasudevan Nair. P K Vasudevan Nair Kerala CM, Charan Singh 1979, Indian Express archives

Kerala chief minister, P K Vasudevan Nair, submitted the resignation of his 11-month-old ministry to the governor of the state. He, however, did not advise the dissolution of the state’s Legislative Assembly. Nair announced that he was resigning because it had become impossible for the government to function as there were differences of opinion among the United Front partners on a “crucial issue”. While hectic efforts are on for forming an alternative government, the Assembly will be meeting as scheduled tomorrow morning and the chief minister will inform the House of the resignation.

Wilted Marigolds

Much of the enthusiasm and the traditional colour seemed to be missing at the annual “Phool Walon Ki Sair” festivities which concluded at Mehrauli in New Delhi. The crowds lining the Mehrauli township to watch the procession of flower pankhas were thin, the illuminations of Jahaz Mahal and its surroundings was not on the grandiose scale of previous years and the floral decorations were meagre. PM Charan Singh, who was to have been the chief guest failed to show up and the Lt Governor, D R Kohli officiated in his place. The scarcity of blossoms was particularly noteworthy as the function is billed as a flower festival: Only a few strings of wilted marigolds festooned the Jahaz Mahal.

No Poll Delay

Prime Minister Charan Singh reiterated that the Lok Sabha elections will not be postponed in any eventuality. “I was opposed to the postponement from the very beginning,” he said while talking to newsmen at the circuit house after flying in to Bilaspur to assess drought conditions in the Chhattisgarh region. Singh said he had immediately contradicted Raj Narain when the latter talked about postponement of elections. Earlier in Nagpur, Singh dismissed as politically motivated the criticism of the preventive detention ordinance issued by his government.