In India, caretaker Prime Minister Morarji Desai and opposition leader Charan Singh presented lists of their supporters to President Sanjiva Reddy on Wednesday (25 July) and he will decide which one should try to form the new Indian government.
NEW DELHI, INDIA (JUL7 23, 1979) (REUTERS)
SV: Congress party leader Mrs. Indira Gandhi on steps of house being cheered by supporters (3 shots)
SV: Opposition leader Charan Singh sitting at home (2 shots)
SV: Janata party President Chandra Shekhar arriving at party headquarters
SV: Caretaker Prime Minister Morarji Desai arriving at party headquarters and being greeted by Shekhar.
SV: Party members talking.
SV: Leaders Desai, Jaghiwan Ram and Shekhar posing with party members.
SV: Janata Party president Shekhar giving news conference in English.
TRANSCRIPT: SHEKHAR: "In that meeting (indistinct) extended full support to Morarji Desai. Morarji Desai asked Jagjiwan Ram the Deputy Prime Minister to help in exploring the possibility of the formation of the government. And I requested Morarji Desai and Jagjiwan Ram to explore and work actively together for the formation of the government.
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Background: In India, caretaker Prime Minister Morarji Desai and opposition leader Charan Singh presented lists of their supporters to President Sanjiva Reddy on Wednesday (25 July) and he will decide which one should try to form the new Indian government. Mr. Desai claimed the support of 278 members of parliament and Mr. Singh handed over the names of 280 supporters -- eight more than the required majority of 272. On Monday (23 July) President Reddy gave the two groups two days to prove their support in parliament and Monday and Tuesday (23 and 24 July) were taken up with lobbying among the political factions.
Congress party leader and former Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi threw her support behind opposition leader Charan Singh on Monday (23 July). This appeared to put him slightly ahead, bringing his total to 252 seats on Monday (23 July). This appeared to put him slightly ahead, bringing his total to 252 seats on Monday (23 July) just twenty short of a majority. Mrs. Gandhi's party holds 73 seats in the lower parliament.
But it appeared that Mr. Singh might pay dearly for Mrs. Gandhi's support. One socialist group of fifteen parliamentarians discussed withdrawing their support because of Mr. Singh's alliance with the former Prime Minister Mrs. Gandhi. The relationship between the two factions has been stormy. As Prime Minister Mrs. Gandhi imprisoned Mr. Singh along with thousands of political opponents. And as Home Minister under Mr. Desai, Mr. Singh had Mrs. Gandhi arrested on charges of corruption and misuse of official power.
Janta party leader Mr. Chandra Shekhar announced that Mr. Desai and Mr. Jaghivan Ram had united in the interest of the party and the country and would jointly run a new government if they were asked to by President Reddy. Mr. Desai and Mr. Singh were to submit lists to the President showing that they had the parliamentary support required to lead a government, and bring stability to India.