• Short Summary

    Former Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who is in police custody on corruption charges,?

  • Description

    GVs: former Indian Premier Mrs. Indira Gandhi being driven through streets of Agra, India, and mobbed by huge crowd of cheering supporters. (4 shots)

    GV: procession of supporters marching towards rallying ground at Agra Fort.

    GVs: crowds cheering and Mrs. Gandhi walking onto rostrum. (4 shots)

    GVs AND CU: Mrs. Gandhi addressing crowd. (3 shots)

    Initials RH/2150

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Former Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who is in police custody on corruption charges, has for several weeks been publicly challenging the government to arrest her. Until the day before her detention on Monday (3 October), she was engaged in a major public campaign through northern Indian in an attempt to return to power.

    SYNOPSIS: On Sunday (2 October), less than 24 hours before her arrest, she was being mobbed by thousands of enthusiastic supporters in Agra. The town is in her home state, Uttar Pradesh, and her open Jeep could hardly move through the cheering crowds. The main charge against her alleges that she mid-appropriated 104 Jeeps during her rule as prime Minister. Her rule ended with a major general election defeat in March this year after eleven years in the post. Her popularity began waning in 1975, when she lost a damaging court case over corrupt electoral practices. In June that year, she imposed emergency rule, which lasted for 21 months.

    During her recent public campaigning, Mrs. Gandhi has been bitterly critical of the new government of Prime Minister Mr. Moraji Desai. She's been accusing them of misrule, and saying they did not have 'the guts' to arrest her, despite their wide-sweeping condemnation of her rule as premier. She told one meeting: 'If they had guts, they could have jailed me as a political prisoner'. Immediately after her arrest, she issued a statement saying she had been detained to discredit her in front of the people.

    Before coming out to address dozens of mass meetings in her attempted political return, Mrs. Gandhi spend the three months after her election defeat in seclusion. Her downfall was the end of a family dynasty for India, for Mrs. Gandhi and her father, the late Jawaharlal Nehru, had been the prime ministers for all but two years since India gained its independence in 1947.

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