After scoring major gains in India's State elections held last weekend, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's Party appears set to become the officials opposition.
SV Mrs. Indira Gandhi walking among supporters (2 shots)
SV Cameramen taking shots and Mrs. Gandhi with supporters.
SV Mrs. Gandhi speaking
MRS. GANDHI: "The people have always been with us, in spite of what happened in the parliamentary elections. At that moment they were misled by very sort of concentrated, virulent propaganda. And soon afterwards they realised that they had been misled, and this was mostly false propaganda."
TULLY: "So you think that you could sweep the north of India as well now if there were elections, do you?"
MRS. GANDHI: "If they were fair elections, yes certainly."
TULLY: "Well what are your political plans now, do you intend to allow those people who didn't join your part of the Congress Party, when it split, to come back into your party?"
MRS. GANDHI: "Well some will, because a large number of them were with us and they had signed the requisition move for instance. But afterwards, the different pressures, the local rivalries, and so on, this prevented them coming. So there's no reason why we shouldn't join. Also it's much better for us to join than to allow Janata. So all these things will have to be gone into now, when I talk with my colleagues and others."
TULLY: "So do you expect that your party will be the single largest opposition party in Parliament?"
MRS. GANDHI: "Possibly, I haven't really looked into it yet."
TULLY: "Do you think that you yourself will be standing for Parliament?"
MRS. GANDHI: "No I will not, I said this before to you."
TULLY: "Why won't you stand for parliament now?"
MRS. GANDHI: "I just don't, I just don't want to. And I think that I'm more useful outside."
TULLY: "But how can you lead a party of the importance of the Indira Congress, or indeed the Congress as it looks like being, without being in Parliament?"
MRS. GANDHI: "Well the people are more important, and I think I can serve them better from outside."
REPORTER: MARK TULLY (B.B.C.)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: After scoring major gains in India's State elections held last weekend, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's Party appears set to become the officials opposition. Mrs. Gandhi's wing of the Congress Party scored wins in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh states, and came close to beating the official Congress Party in Maharashtra.
SYNOPSIS: When the news of her Party's gains reached the streets, Mrs. Gandhi was given a warm reception by supporters in the suburbs of New Delhi. She was crowded by jubilant voters and was presented with dozens of garlands by admirers.
Newsmen also sought out the former leader, who now appears to be heading back to some degree of power in Indian politics. BBC reporter mark Tully asked Mrs. Gandhi how she saw her victory.