Former Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi is continuing her struggle to return to the?
Former Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi is continuing her struggle to return to the mainstream of political life, despite recent and impending court appearances. She is to be examined on September 15 on two charges related to her refusal to testify under oath last January before a Government appointed Commission. Headed by former Chief Justice J.C. Shah, the Commission denounced Mrs. Gandhi for alleged excesses during the 1975 State of Emergency. The ex-Premier twice refused to testify, saying there was no legal nor constitutional reason why she should.
SYNOPSIS: Last Thursday (24 August), Mrs. Gandhi faced another court appearance - this time before the Reddy Commission of Enquiry into a bank fraud case. A crowd of the former premier's supporters were waiting outside the court as Mr. Justice Jaganmohan Reddy arrived. In the case, a retired army captain is accused of defrauding the State Bank of India of six million rupees (about 750,000 U.S. dollars) in 1971 by imitating Mrs. Gandhi's voice on the telephone. The man died in custody before the case could be completed and Mrs. Gandhi denies any involvement in the fraud.
The day before, in another court appearance, Mrs Gandhi was granted bail on a charge of conspiracy and criminal misconduct.
But all her legal battles have not stopped Mrs. Gandhi from pursuing her "Save India" campaign. On the birthday of Lord Krishna last Friday (25 August), a national holiday, she toured rural areas of Haryana in the Hindi belt that rejected her outright in the 1977 elections.
From the village of Bayanpur she travelled to Bepoli for a farmers' rally. Launching a major attack on the ruling Janata Party, she accused it of responsibility for high prices and lawlessness in the country.
The rural community responded to her claims that the Government was bringing India's development to a standstill by donating several sacks of rupee coins to her campaign.