From Our Special Correspondent

Chandigarh, India —The Indian Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi denied the report that Congress (I) had worked out a plan to install an Akali Govt. in Punjab and asserted that his party would secure an absolute majority in the election and will definitely form its own party government in Punjab. He said only Congress can save Punjab from “extremism.” During his first poll tours in Punjab he addressed meetings at Jandiala Guru in Amritsar, Ropar and Sangrur. On 16th of September and he addressed meetings at Pathan kot, Jullundur and Muktsar. He addressed more than a dozen election meetings in Punjab.

Akali circles are totally stunned because of his sudden change in stand. Akalis were expecting that Congress high command would offer them govt. in Punjab on a platter. Prime Minister did not make even passing reference during the course of his public meetings to the terrible happenings in Punjab during the past 4 years. In each meeting he paid rich tributes to late Sant Harchand Singh Longowal.

Unprecedented security arrangements were made at these meetings by getting bullet proof boxes installed around the podium. The commandos of national security forces were all around him in the gatherings. Commandos with machine guns were standing at specially installed observation boards to keep constant watch at the audience.

Instead of one helicopter there was a fleet of Russian made helicopters to attend these meetings. According to sources these helicopters were used to keep the people from knowing the exact helicopter in which the Prime Minister was traveling.

Article extracted from this publication >>  September 20, 1985