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INDIA: PRIME MINISTER MORARJI DESAI BEGINS CAMPAIGNING FOR STATE ELECTIONS WHICH THREATEN TO SPLIT RULING JANATA PARTY.


Story

The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Morarji Desai, has begun campaigning for next month's (June) regional elections in ten northern states. So far, the build-up to the elections has been marked by a crisis within the ruling Janata Party, which comprises five originally separate parties. Several nominees from each faction have been seeking the Party's backing for the same seats.
SYNOPSIS: Because of the rush for Party backing, the final list could not be drawn up in time. All contenders were asked to nominate in the hope that these not selected would withdraw. But this didn't happen, and members of the ruling party are now opposing each other. Mr. Desai forced the elections himself by dissolving the States's Legislative Assemblies.
Mr. Desai's own faction is heavily favoured to win the elections, but rivalry with the others was expected to hamper its chances. In dissolving the State Assemblies Mr. Desai hoped to repeat the Janata party's rout of Mrs. Indira Gandhi's Congress Party in the March general elections.
In a round of election meetings, Mr. Desai put forward his message -- that the Janata Party wanted to improve conditions in the countryside so that townspeople would be attracted to the rural life. But, he said, the wrongs brought about by the Congress Party during its 30 years in power would first have to be removed.
The elections in the ten states will be between June the 10th and 14th, to be followed at the end of Jammu and Kashmir. Mr. Desai leaves for Britain three days before the first elections.

Reference 4408/77
Tape
Issue
Can 17160
Source REUTERS-JAGDISH KAPOOR
Restrictions Restrictions on certain uses may apply, and may vary from those listed.
Time code
Date original 26 MAY, 1977
Duration 1.20
Technical C/M P/T N/T
Subset Reuters TV - RTV Post 1957
Location AGRA, NORTHERN INDIA
Sound NATURAL & INDIAN SPEECH
Colourbw

1. GV Taj Mahal, Agra, India 0.06
2. SV Indian Premier Morarji Desai arriving and greeted 0.18
3. SV Crowd rushing forward 0.24
4. SV PAN Desai walking up platform 0.34
5. GV Supporters 0.40
6. CU Desai addressing gathering (in Indian) 0.56
7. GV Crowd listening and Desai speaking 1.04
8. GV Desai speaking and crowd applauding 1.20

InitialsBB/0130

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