INTRODUCTION: India's first Opposition Party rally since June 1975 took place in New Delhi on Sunday (30 January).
SV Party official addresses supporters (2 shots)
SV Desai arrives on official platform (2 shots)
SV Desai addressing crowd (2 shots)
SV Crowds file past Gandhi memorial (2 shots)
SV Desai laying wreath at memorial
SV Mrs Gandhi scattering flowers on memorial
GV Guard of honour
SV Mrs Gandhi, government and military leaders leaving
GV Desai leads another party away from memorial
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Background: INTRODUCTION: India's first Opposition Party rally since June 1975 took place in New Delhi on Sunday (30 January).
SYNOPSIS: It was the rally of the Janata (People's) Party which groups the main non-Communist Opposition. About one hundred thousand supporters attended the New Delhi Rally. The party held rallies in five other major centres demanding the release of six thousand political prisoners.
India's former deputy-premier Morarji Desai, now leader of the Janata Party, told cheering supporters that "democracy in India has been sterilised." The 80-year-old Mr Desai was released from house arrest earlier this month. He's now fully involved in preparing his party for the Indian general elections -- scheduled for March.
The Janata rallies were held to coincide with the 29th anniversary of the assassination of India's independence hero Mahatma Gandhi.
Politics were forgotten when first Mr Desai, then Mrs Gandhi paid tribute at the Gandhi memorial in New Delhi. They scattered flowers on the memorial and left gifts of spun cotton, symbolising part of Mahatma Gandhi's campaign against the British when he fought for a return to the spinning wheel to halt imports of British cotton.
However, when the separate tributes were paid it was back to normal. Mrs Gandhi left with her government ministers and supporters and Mr Desai left with his supporters and Janata Party officials.