Former Indian Prime Minster Mrs. Indira Gandhi is to fight her first parliamentary by-election since?
Former Indian Prime Minster Mrs. Indira Gandhi is to fight her first parliamentary by-election since her disastrous defeat in general elections last year.
SYNOPSIS: The place she has chosen to attempt a return to the Lok Sabha -- the Indian lower house -- is the Chickmagalur constituency in the southern state of Karnataka. Although Mrs. Gandhi has said she is "reluctant" to contest the election, Indian newspaper reports say that the previous member for Chickmagalur -- D.B. Chandre Gowda -- vacated his seat following a directive from Mrs. Gandhi's son Sanjay and "caucus" members from her breakaway faction of the Congress Party.
But despite the controversy which surrounds her, the people of Chickmagalur were evidently pleased to welcome the former Prime Minister -- who faces several criminal charges resulting from her period of Emergency Rule. After less than eighteen months she has emerged as the main opposition leader to the ruling Janata party.
Mrs. Gandhi filed her nomination papers on Friday (6 October), but the Janata Party has yet to announce its candidate to oppose her. Mrs. Gandhi lost her traditional power base in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in March 1977. Again according to Indian newspaper reports it is believed she would have liked to re-enter the Lok Sabha from a constituency in Uttar Pradesh -- and that she bowed to pressures from her colleagues in accepting the Chickmagalur nomination.