PATNA: Rajiv Gandhi has warned that elections in Punjab under the existing circumstances would be fraught with “dangerous consequences”

Addressing a press conference here Gandhi said free and fair elections were not possible in Punjab at this stage. The militants controlled by the panthic committee in Pakistan would use the polls to secure by force a referendum on secession from the country he said.

If a legislative assembly dominated by such elements passed a secessionist resolution and some countries hostile to India granted recognition to it the country would find it “extremely difficult to repair the damage”.

The former prime minister reiterated the charge that the Chandra Shekhar government had reached a secret deal with the Panthic Committee under which hard core militants might be released from jails.

Gandhi said his party was confident of gaining majority in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) elections. Even if it suffered some reverses in the states like Kerala and Andhra Pradesh it would greatly improve its position in Maharashtra and Bengal.

Asked whose support his party would take if there was a hung parliament again Gandhi said he would “prefer seeking cooperation of the left parties but it would depend on their attitude.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 10, 1991