Former Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi has suffered a big setback in her bid?
Former Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi has suffered a big setback in her bid to gain control of the Congress Party. After a week of lobbying from Mrs. Gandhi's supporters, including her son Sanjay, a move to draft her for Congress President failed on Friday (14 October) at a meeting of the party's executive. Mr. K. Brahmananda Reddy continues as president of the party.
SYNOPSIS: The press of humanity outside the Congress Party meeting contained many supporters of Mrs. Gandhi. They've been vociferous since her recent arrest -- and release -- on charges of corruption and misuse of power.
The chanting had been stilled when Mrs Gandhi went into political retirement after she, and the Congress Party, suffered shock defeat in the general election last March.
After Mrs. Gandhi started re-appearing in public recently, the wheels began turning to tug her back towards the centre of power in the Congress Party. Mr. Kamlapati Tripathi, leader of the party's Rajya Sabha group, was one of five leaders who were to veto a draft 'unity' resolution, which reportedly condemned Mrs. Gandhi's arrest as political and vindicative.
Crowds crushed so tightly around Mrs. Gandhi's limousine when she arrived that, at first, she could not get out of the car. Before this meeting, Mrs. Gandhi had claimed she was not interested in becoming president of the party.
Mr. Reddy's supporters had strongly resisted moves to have Mrs. Gandhi take over. But reports said Mrs. Gandhi would have a greater say in charting the party's course, especially during the campaign for the State Assembly elections next year.
Mr. Y.B. Chavan, Mrs. Gandhi's former Foreign Minister, vetoed the unity resolution, but helped bring about an informal understanding between Mr. Reddy and Mrs. Gandhi. Mr. Reddy announced he did not intend to appoint any of Mrs. Gandhi's nominees as senior office-bearers in the party.