CHANDIGARH, India: The Punjab Congress (I) does not favor the revival of Akali ministry and will impress on the high command on holding fresh elections in the state at an appropriate time for the installation of a popular government.

The subject of elected set up in Punjab was discussed briefly when the P.P.C. (I) President Beant

Singh met Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 29. The P.P.C. (I) sources said that Mr. Gandhi was of the view that the foremost task before the administration was to cut down violent activities which continued unabated. According to a report, the Central leaders of the party admit the task of entrusting the government to Akalis for ~curbing violence has failed. The Akalis have neither been able to restore normalcy in the State or put the alienated Sikh community back in the mainstream. In such a situation the return of the Akali government on the basis of 1985 mandate is considered impossibility.

A section of the Congress (I) is in favor of fresh elections at an early date to encase the disillusionment of the people with the Akalis who could not hold together to give a strong government to the State despite their mandate. They suggest controlling the situation in about six months with a firm hand by the administration under the Presidential rule.

The other view is that the situation is too complicated to show signs of absolute improvement which the party demands. One of the surest signs of returning to normalcy is the return of migrants. to Punjab. With the killing in the State continuing it will not be easy for the administration to persuade the migrants to come back to their houses.

According to official sources the administration does not want to approach the migrants immediately as the situation at present is not very reassuring. Contact with them is likely to be made after the elections in Haryana.

Article extracted from this publication >>  June 12, 1987