The issues of law and order and the cost of living have dominated the campaign for India's mid-term elections, scheduled for early January (3 and 6 January, 1980).
The issues of law and order and the cost of living have dominated the campaign for India's mid-term elections, scheduled for early January (3 and 6 January, 1980). Caretaker Prime Minister Mr Charan Sing's People's Party has pledged far-reaching economic and social measures based on austerity and self-reliance if it is returned to power. The party says the only way to prevent the poor from becoming poorer is to decentralise economic power and give priority to agriculture and small scale industries. But Mr Singh has suffered set-backs through the resignations of four of his ministers who have joined other parties, including former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's Congress Party. The latest minister to resign, Communications Minister, Mr Zulfiquarullah, joined the Janata party, which recently (10 December) carried its campaign on to the streets of New Delhi.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstration against Mr Singh's caretaker government was led by Janata Party members of New Delhi's Metropolitan Council, and former government Ministers. Among them was the former Janata government's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Atal Bihar Vajpayee.
Women took a particular interest in the issues the demonstration aimed to highlight: the price of food and lawlessness. The Janata party campaigners carried a statement to Prime Minister Singh's home. In the document they accuse his government of failing to end a wave of crime.
The Janata party candidates also accuse the government of allowing industrialists and food manufacturers to plunder the people by increasing the prices of essential commodities, and by creating shortages of some foods.