September 14, 1979, Forty Years Ago
IOC Strike Continues
With the strike by the Indian Oil Corporation workers entering the second day, the distribution of petroleum products was disrupted in most parts of the country. The situation aggravated with IOC employees from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Goa joining the countrywide strike. Several rounds of discussions between the petroleum minister, Bala Pajanor, and leaders of the striking workers proved abortive. A petroleum ministry spokesman told newsmen the supply position of petroleum was already bad. He said the Centre had alerted state governments to invoke the Essential Services Act to deal with the striking workers.
The Congress leadership today bowed to the sentiments of the rank and file by making the issue of going to the mid-term poll in association with the party allies under a common symbol negotiable with the partners, so that it could be implemented wherever “feasible.” Y B Chavan, who replied briefly to the debate on the political resolution at the AICC session, accepted an amendment to the resolution to this effect. The amendment sought to add the word “ if feasible” to that part of the resolution which opted for a common symbol.
The Congress-I president, Indira Gandhi, warned the government and others who were trying to downgrade her that anything they did to her would “rebound against them” . Mrs Gandhi asked her partymen to ignore the tirade against her. She said that she had not engaged in counter-tirade. Referring to the other Congress, Mrs Gandhi said the Congress-O committed suicide when it merged with the Janata Party. The same thing was happening to the Congres (S). She felt sorry that Jagjivan Ram was allowing himself to be used as a shield by the Janata Party. Without him, there was nothing in the Janata Party, she said.