Mr. Morarji Desai, a former Deputy Prime Minister of India, on Monday (7 April) began?
Mr. Morarji Desai, a former Deputy Prime Minister of India, on Monday (7 April) began an indefinite fast to demand elections next month in his home state of Gujarat in western India.
Mr. Desai -- who is 79 -- was dismissed from the Government by Primo Minister Indira Gandhi during the Congress Party split in 1969.
The night before starting the fast Mr. Desai had a large glass of milk and seven dates. On Monday morning a group of followers gathered at his Delhi house where they held an hour-long prayer meeting on the front lawn.
As well as seeking early elections in Gujarat (Mrs Gandhi had offered to hold them in four months time bout this was rejected by Mr. Desai) he also wants an end to the almost continuous state of emergency enforced since the 1965 Kashmir war with Pakistan.