Campaigning for next month's (January) general elections in India is now well underway. While the?
Campaigning for next month's (January) general elections in India is now well underway. While the former Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi has been campaigning in western provinces, Janata Party's Mr. Jagjivan Ram encountered a problem in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Demonstrators stoned his helicopter at an election rally in Banda on Tuesday (18 December) forcing the pilot to take off without him.
SYNOPSIS: Damage to the helicopter has curtailed the campaign of Mr. Ram, the leader of the Janata Party and one of the main contenders for Prime Minister But he has continued his tour of Uttar Pradesh, from where the Indian parliament usually draws the bulk of its voting strength.
In the agricultural market town of Bullandshahr, about sixty miles (96 kilometres) east of Delhi, campaign workers collected party donations in large sheets before Mr. Ram's arrival to address a public meeting. More than ten thousand people turned out to welcome the former Deputy Prime Minister when he arrived by car.
In his speech, Mr Ram made a scathing attack on Mrs Gandhi and the Prime Minister, Mr Charan Singh. The Janata Party has accused the former Indian Prime Minister of receiving large sums of money from foreign sources for the January election. Mrs. Gandhi had in turn attacked the Janata and Lok Dal parties, claiming they have no policies and were producing fresh rumours to discredit her and her Congress party.