India's Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, today (20 JULY) faces a crucial round in her?
MRS. GANDHI'S HOUSE: ARMED GUARD OUTSIDE: MR. KASANI, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE RIVAL RIGHT-WING SWANTANTRA PARTY: OTHER OPPOSITION LEADERS OF MEETING: MR. DWIVEDI: MR. VAJPAYEE, PRESIDENT OF RIGHT-WING OPPOSITION JAN SANGH PARTY: MR. DESAI.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: India's Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, today (20 JULY) faces a crucial round in her battle to retain control of the ruling Congress Party, only 24 hours after nationalising 14 top banks. The decision to nationalise the banks came on the heels of Mrs. Gandhi's acceptance of the resignation from her Government of her Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Morarji Desai, an opponent of nationalisation.
The Prime Minister now faces the challenge of the Right-Wing leaders of her party. One of them, Mr. S.K. Patil, has described Mrs. Gandhi's action against Mr. Dosai as 'vindictive'.
Left-Wingers within the Congress and Opposition parties applauded the banks' nationalisation, while both the Right-Wing Swantantra and Jan Sangh Parties are opposed to it. Jan Sangh President Atal Bihari Vajpayec has described the nationalisations as 'anti-people', while Swantantra deputy leader Minoo Masani has said that his party thinks the Government hoped the banks would challenge them.
The Congress Party is meeting today (20 JULY) on the eve of a new session to consider the fast-moving crisis of the past 12 days. The 431-member group of legislators could pass a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister if the party's influential Right-Wing leaders think the time is right and if they can obtain the necessary two-thirds majority.