There have been big rallies outside the house of the Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. India?
There have been big rallies outside the house of the Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. India Gandhi, urging her not to stand down following her conviction on Thursday (12 June) for election offences.
Mrs. Gandhi is to appeal against her conviction. But opposition leaders demanding her resignation have announced they no longer regard her as Prime Minister.
Mrs. Gandhi has made no clear statement of her immediate intentions. But in speeches outside her closely-guarded residence in the centre of New Delhi she has emphasised her determination to fight on.
Justice Jagmohal Lal Singh convicted the Prime Minister of corrupt electoral practices for using Government officials and agencies in her campaign during the 1971 general elections. The judge gave Mrs. Gandhi 20 days to appeal.
SYNOPSIS: Indians are waiting anxiously to hear whether their Prime Minister, Mrs. Gandhi, will resign or stay in office while she appeals to the Supreme Court over her conviction for election offences. There've been big rallies in support of Mrs. Gandhi outside her house in New Delhi. Mrs. Gandhi has made no clear statement of her intentions. But she's emphasised her determination to fight on.
In this speech, she said: "Our enemies are very strong. Their resources are vast and they have a lot of money at their disposal to see my removal." But, she added, she's accustomed to meeting challenges coolly. Mrs. Gandhi's been convicted of corrupt election practices for using Government officials and agencies in her 1971 election campaign.
Patrolling soldiers are keeping Mrs. Gandhi's house under heavy guard. There's been a lot of pressure on her to resign, most of it from her political opposition. Some leading opposition figures have staged sit-down protests outside the Presidential palace, and they've threatened to lead a mass march to the palace if she doesn't resign by June 21. They've challenged her right to speak in Parliament while the appeal is pending, and say they no longer regard her as Prime Minister.