The former Indian Minister, Mrs Indira, Gandhi, attracted large crowds on Wednesday (13 June) when she campaigned for her Congress party's candidate for the Thanjavur parliamentary constituency in southern India.
GV People running along dry bed of Kaveri River near Thanjavur en route to political meeting PAN TO people seated and waiting
GV People rising to acclaim imminent arrival of former Prime Minister, Mrs Gandhi
GV Mrs Gandhi arriving and garland placed around her neck as she walks onto the platform to acknowledge cheers PAN TO crowd
SCU Shawl place around Mrs Gandhi's shoulders
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Background: The former Indian Minister, Mrs Indira, Gandhi, attracted large crowds on Wednesday (13 June) when she campaigned for her Congress party's candidate for the Thanjavur parliamentary constituency in southern India. Mrs Gandhi had planned to be the candidate there, but bowed to request from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state, and did not file her nomination papers. The minister feared violence from Mrs Gandhi's political opponents had she been a candidate.
SYNOPSIS: Hundreds of Gandhi supporters rushed along the dry bed of the Kaveri River on their way to an open-air meeting at the town of Thanjavur. During her eighteen hours in the region, Mrs Gandhi was to address about a dozen meetings. Many thousand attended despite scorching temperatures of one hundred and five degrees Fahrenheit (40.6c). Previously, the ruling party of Tamil Nadu -- the A.I.D.M.K. -had said they would back Mrs Gandhi running as a Congress-One candidate.
However, after the State Chief Minister had talks in Delhi with Prime Minister Moraji Desai in mid-May, the minister had asked her not to stand. The minister told her he would support the Congress-One party's candidate, Mr Singaravadivelu. The customary boom of cheers went up as Mrs Gandhi appeared.
Mrs Gandhi told the crowd that the economic problems of the poor and middle classes were spreading throughout India. She accused the ruling Janata Party of being indifferent to their grievances.