Forty Years Ago, September 20, 1979: Congress Exodus
An exodus from the Congress has begun in West Bengal, mainly in protest against the Bangalore AICC resolution accepting the leadership of Charan Singh and suggesting an electoral alliance with the CPM. While the North Calcutta District Committee led by Prafulla Kanti Ghosh has en bloc joined Congress (I), a large number of Congressmen have either resigned or are resigning from the party, although their next move is yet to be decided. Twenty influential leaders, including Gopaldas Nag, Bholanath Sen, Santosh Roy and D P Chattopadhyaya announced their resignation at a press conference. The Cooch Behar and the Central Calcutta DCCs have also en masse resigned from the party. According to Roy, many other DCCs have conveyed their readiness to fall in line.
RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras reiterated in Indore that the RSS would never assume power because it believed in reforming society keeping itself aloof from politics. Talking to journalists, he declared that the RSS had no interest in elections. Its active participation in the 1977 election was an exception to help restore democracy and the Constitution. It could not be made a precedence. Addressing volunteers of the RSS, Deoras said that the word Hindu Rashtra had been used in its wider sense indicating a geographical and cultural identity. The term “Hindu” depicted not only geographical but a specific cultural unit embracing every person living in India.
Reports of the former Afghan president, Nur Mohammed Taraki’s death remained unconfirmed. One diplomatic source quoted a reliable Afghan informant in Kabul as saying that the 62-year-old poet-politician was still alive, the Associated Press said. Earlier, Radio Pakistan had said Taraki died from gunshot wounds received in a shootout on Friday at his official residence.