NEW DELHI, INDIA
The Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the ruling Congress (I) party appeared on December 28 to be heading for a landslide victory in the Indian national general election held over three days, starting December 24.
NEW DELHI, INDIA
1. GVs People outside voting board, results being tallied showing Rajiv Gandhi leading (3 shots) 0.24
2. GV/CU INTERIOR Votes being counted (2 shots) 0.33
3. GVs People in street, jubilantly proclaiming Gandhi as winner, watched by riot police (3 shots) 0.56
4. CU Ex-Energy Minister K.C. Pant through crowd with garlands (2 shots) 1.05
5. CU K.C. Pant speaking (ENGLISH SOT) 1.54
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQUENCE FIVE):
K.C. PANT: "The landslide victory of the Congress party is an endorsement of its policies and the policies of Rajiv Gandhi which are a continuation of the policies followed earlier by Mrs. Gandhi. It is also an expression of the firm determination of the people to see that a strong government emerges from the elections at the centre which can combat and suppress the forces of division."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: NEW DELHI, INDIA
The Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the ruling Congress (I) party appeared on December 28 to be heading for a landslide victory in the Indian national general election held over three days, starting December 24. State-run television predicted the Congress (I) party would win at least 360 and possibly 400 of the 508 seats being contested. There are 544 seats in the Lower House, but polling was not held in the troubled Assam and Punjab states. Television said Congress (I) had already won 124 of the 157 sets where results had been declared. Information Minister H.K.L. Bhagat was returned in one Delhi constituency with a majority of 312,000. In the southern state of Karnataka, where Congress lost its majority two years ago, it won 21 out of the 24 seats whose results had been announced. The television report indicated Congress (I) might for the first time win more than 50 per cent of the vote. In Delhi, former Energy Minister K.C. Pant of Congress (I) party was victorious in his constituency, he said the vote was an endorsement of his party's policies. He also gave credit for the triumph to Prime Minister Gandhi, saying he was following the policies of his mother Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated in late October. Mr. Pant said the people of India were proving by their votes that they wished to see a strong government. The hold of the Communist party on India's most populous city, Calcutta, seemed threatened by the landslide in favour of Congress (I), but Andhra Pradesh state went against the trend. In that state, Indira Gandhi's former constituency of Medak fell to the regional Telegu Desam Opposition party which holds power in Andra Pradesh.
Source: REUTERS - PREM PRAKASH