ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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NEW DELHI-New Pressures within Janata

NEW DELHI New Pressures within Janata B M THE autumn session of Parliament opened this week with a mammoth demonstration of workers outside it. A day earlier, on Sunday, as workers affiliated to all central trade unions irrespective of their political and ideological affiliations met in a convention to register their united and uncompromising opposition to the Industrial Relations Bill introduced in Parliament's last session, the Land Reforms Committee headed by Planning Commission Member, Raj Krishna, held a press conference to release to the public the ommendations of the first of a series of reports that the Committee has decided to submit. The Committee has demanded that all land reform laws must be given constitutional protection by their inclusion in the Ninth Schedule. Earlier still, at Ujjain at a Camp of the ruling party leaders and activists; there was wide and sharp criticism of the Desai government for its "nonperformance" and its failure to carry out the party's socio-economic commitments to the people which had resulted in the erosion of its mass support within a short period of its coming to power. What all these happenings and much else signify are the growing pressures within the ruling coalition on policy issues which are in a marked degree different from the kind of factional dissensions which have planed the party for some time and which were concerned more with sharing of power by different persons and their groups than questions of principles. This is an interesting development, especially so after the recent Chickmagalur by-election. The first reaction in the ruling party to the failure of the Janata Party and its high-powered campaign to cut into the support of the Congress(I) and its star candidate in Indira Gandhi was that the threat posed by Indira Gandhi's comeback bid to the ruling party could be met only by the "unity'' of the party and that, therefore, all efforts must be made to end personal squabbles and close rank. It is significant, however, that these sentiments in favour of "unity" have suddenly begun to lose much of their appeal. On the contrary, there is to be seen a greater earn estness in party circles for examining the record of the government and to take a critical view of the standpoints on socio-economic issues which divide the Janata conglomerate than for seeking unity of the party at any cost and on any basis. It seems that there may now be more forceful articulation of issues of principle within the Janata Party as well among those who are associated with it in semi-official or unofficial capacities.

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