The latest opinion polls in India have shown that the opposition parties are growing in popularity.
The latest opinion polls in India have shown that the opposition parties are growing in popularity. The Janata Party has made a vigorous drive for votes and one of its leaders, Jayaprakash Narayan, has been travelling around the country to address huge rallies.
SYNOPSIS: More than 200,000 people turned out in the Rajasthan state capital of Jaipur on Saturday, (19 February) according to Indian newspapers,. to welcome Mr. Narayan. The size of the crowd contrasted with much smaller gatherings that have been addressed by the country's Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The 74-year-old Mr. Narayan has to be linked to a kidney machine for three days a week but he has shown little sign of fatigue on his visits to Calcutta, Bombay and Delhi during the past week.
Mr. Narayan called on the people of Jaipur to vote for his Janata Party in the coming election. He criticised Mrs. Gandhi's policies and condemned the internal state of emergency that was imposed by her government. Many of the country's opposition leaders were imprisoned during the state of emergency and news censorship was imposed. Mr. Narayan claimed in a recent rally in Calcutta that the British colonial rulers of India had not kept as many people in gaol as Mrs. Gandhi's government. It was Mr. Narayan who addressed a rally in Delhi on the day before the emergency was announced in June 1975 and called on the police to disobey what he called illegal orders.
Campaigning in the current election has been mainly peaceful with only two violent incidents reported and no calls for civil disobedience.