New Delhi — Mr. Arjun Singh, who was sworn in as Punjab Governor in Chandigarh on Thursday evening, met the Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, here before leaving for Chandigarh.

Mr. Arjun Singh has been given a guideline by the Prime Minister on his thinking on the Punjab situation and broad outlines within which the Government would like to come to some settlement with the Akalis.

He was given indepth briefing on Wednesday by the Home Minister on the Punjab developments and the task he will be facing.

Political circles have noted a marked change in the stance of both the Government and the Akalis giving hope of an early settlement of the Punjab problem. While the Akali Dal chief, Mr. Harchand Singh Longowal, has after his release repeatedly stated that he stood for unity and integrity of the country and he was opposed to violence, the Prime Minister’s statement in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, intervening on a question on Punjab, showed some change in his stand on the Anandpur Sahib Resolution.

According to sources close to Mr. Longowal, he had told Mr. Amolak Singh, president of the U.K. Akali Dal on phone on Monday night, that he wanted a solution of the Punjab problem within the framework of the Constitution and that the agitation to achieve this would also remain peaceful. He had told Mr. Amolak Singh that the U.K. Akali Dal should also work on these lines and oppose any move for a separate state.

Mr. Harkishan Singh Surjeet, CPM leader, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s reply in the Rajya Sabha on the Anandpur Sahib resolution and asked the Akali leadership to reciprocate the spirit shown by the Prime Minister.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 29, 1985