India's political allies who defeated Mrs Indira Gandhi in the March election formally merged into one party in New Delhi on Sunday (1 May).
GV EXT Conference hall and people outside in New Delhi (3 shots)
SV Mr Ashok Mehta speaking in English
SV Audience applauds
CU Mr Moraji Desai speaking in English
(DIFFERENT LOCATION) GV Jana Sangh party members arrive for convention
GV INT Crowd at convention
SV Mr Vajpayee and Mr Deshmuk seated
SV PAN Delegates seated (2 shots)
SV Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani seated
DESAI: "We have to form a unity and work together and I am happy that in spite of the difficulties, we have been able to form the Janata party because that was the demand of the people and it has been proved by the elections".
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Background: India's political allies who defeated Mrs Indira Gandhi in the March election formally merged into one party in New Delhi on Sunday (1 May). The four constituent elements in the ruling Janata Party dissolved their separate organisations and became one party at an inaugural conference.
The other two parties involved are the Indians People's Party and the Socialist Party, both of which have agreed to similar moves. Meanwhile, Mr Jayaprakash Narayan, has left for the United States for a kidney operation. He's the pacifist reformer who inspired the formation of the Janata alliance.
SYNOPSIS: On Friday (29 April), two of the parties held individual meetings to express their support for Janata. At the Organisation Congress party of Prime Minister Morarji Desai, delegates heard calls for unity from their party leaders. Congress President Ashok Mehta, who was formerly a government minister in Mrs Gandhi's cabinet, said it was vital all democrats closed rank and moved towards a united Janata party. Mr Desai said all four parties must be prepared to make compromises and stressed that democracy meant accepting the majority rule. His party was India's first recognised opposition group.
Another party to agree to the formal merger on Friday was the Hindu Nationalist Jana Sangh party, led by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, now India's External Affairs Minister.
He and other party leaders urged their members to work well with the other parties so the Janata party could work effectively.