Opposition parties condemning and mass crowds supporting Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, following her High Court conviction or corruption charges last week, held counter rallies in New Delhi on Sunday (15 June).
SV INTERIOR Raj Narain arriving as crowd chant (2 shots)
SV Narain speaking
GV EXTERIOR Mrs. Gandhi arriving at residence as crowd applaud
GV & SV Crowd with placards supporting Mrs. Gandhi (3 shots)
GV Mrs. Gandhi on rostrum surrounded by crowd demonstrating support (2 shots)
SV & GV Mrs. Gandhi making speech (2 shots)
SV Mrs. Gandhi escorted through crowd
Initials CL/2320 CL/2330
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Background: Opposition parties condemning and mass crowds supporting Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, following her High Court conviction or corruption charges last week, held counter rallies in New Delhi on Sunday (15 June).
The Opposition rally was addressed by the man who brought the court action against the Prime Minister, 72-year-old Raj Narain, a veteran socialist member of the Uttar Pradesh Parliament. Mr. Narain has led a nationwide campaign to discredit Mrs. Gandhi ... the dominant figure in Indian politics for the last ten years.
Opposition groups have publicly stated that they no longer regard Mrs. Gandhi as the legitimate Prime Minister and have demanded her resignation. The High Court decision effectively disqualified the Indian woman politician from holding office for six years... but she has already announced her intention to appeal against the ruling.
Mrs. Gandhi has always drawn considerable support from among the Indian rank-and-file ... and the rally in her support on Sunday drew crowds several thousand strong. In her address she emphasised her determination to fight the High Court decision. Support has also come from among her own ruling Congress Party and from the Chief Ministers of most of India's 22 states.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Raj Narain -- the man who brought the recent successful High Court action against Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi -- addressed a mass rally in New Delhi on Sunday calling for Mrs. Gandhi's resignation. Mr. Narain has led a nationwide campaign to discredit the Indian woman politician.
Earlier in the day, though, several thousand people had gathered outside Mrs. Gandhi's official residence to express their confirmed support for her. The Prime Minister announced last week she will appeal against the High Court ruling that she engaged in corrupt electoral practices in the 1971 campaign in Uttar Pradesh. She's been given twenty days in which to lodge her case with the courts.
Support for Mrs. Gandhi has been evident throughout India ... despite the fact that the shadow of the corruption case is thought to have contributed to the defeat of her ruling Congress Party in state elections in Gujarat last weekend.
The Prime Minister told the excited crowd that she was determined to carry on the fight. But opposition parties have told President Fakhrudin Ali Ahmed they no longer recognise her as Prime Minister. Mrs. Gandhi continues to hold much support from within the Congress Party ... but constitutional difficulties are seen as imminent.