Rajiv Gandhi New Delhi — The Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, said on

Thursday that the Government did not want the Akalis to repudiate the Anandpur Sahib resolution in its totality as a precondition for talks on the Punjab issue.

Intervening in the course of supplementaries in the Rajva Sabha during question nour. Mr. Gandhi, however, said that only some points in the resolution were objectionable. If the Akalis had any points to make with regard to the Centre State relations, they could take them un with the Sarkaria Commission, he said. When Mr. Khushwant Singh pointed out that in an interview to a Calcutta weekly Mr. Gandhi had not ruled out an inquiry into the riots following Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the Prime Minister said he had not gone through it. Mr. Gandhi alleged that one of the opposition parties had supported the Akali stand on Punjab but declined to name it.

The opposition made a fervent appeal to the Government to involve it in the dialogue for resolving the Punjab tangle. It requested the Government to release other Akali leaders like Mr. Parkash Singh Badal to make the talks more meaningful.

Both the Prime Minister and Mr. S. B. Chavan, declined to make any commitment on the demand. They said a Cabinet subcommittee was going through the entire issue and if it was found that association of the opposition with the talks was helpful to solve the issue, it would be considered at that time, Mr. Chavan said.

Mr. Satyanarayana Reddy asked Mr. Chavan whether the Government will take note of the Srinagar decision of the opposition parties in this regard. Mr. Chavan said

There was no question of the Government calling the opposition parties for discussions on the basis of the Srinagar conclave. If the Cabinet subcommittee found it necessary to involve them it could be considered at that time.

Asked why other Akali leaders were not being released, Mr. Chavan said all cases were being reviewed. However, those facing criminal charges will not come in this category.

Mr. Chavan also declined to give any assurance on allowing the trade unions and secular parties to hold meetings in Punjab.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 29, 1985