INTRODUCTION: The dispute continues in India over the issue of elections in states controlled by the Congress Party which was heavily defeated in last month's general election.
INTRODUCTION: The dispute continues in India over the issue of elections in states controlled by the Congress Party which was heavily defeated in last month's general election. The youth wing of the party has announced the launching of a non-violent campaign from Monday (25 April) to protest against the government's attempt to force elections in nine northern states. Control of the state assemblies is important because their members form a majority in the electoral college that must meet before August 11th to choose a new Indian President. On Sunday (24 April) a group of Congress Party MPs tried to see acting President Basappa Jatti in a bid to stall the government's move.
SYNOPSIS: They went to Mr Jatti's official residence in New Delhi with a memorandum urging him to refer the matter to the Supreme Court. But they only managed to see the President's secretary, and they weren't happy about it.
India's new Home Minister Charan Singh a week ago (18 April) said he was writing to the chief ministers of the nine states still held by Congress, asking them to advise dissolution of the state assemblies, and to seek a fresh mandate immediately. The central government maintains that the state governments in effect lost the people's confidence in the recent general election when the Janata Party, now in power, crushed the Congress Party in the north. But Congress spokesmen say the government's moves are unconstitutional.
A party spokesman put their case.