1977 Elections And Indira Gandhi’s Defeat

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1977 Elections And Indira Gandhi’s Defeat

1977 Elections And Her Defeat

Suddenly on Jan. 18, 1977, after the advice of her close associates, Indira Gandhi released the opposition leaders and announced fresh polls to be held on March 19, 1977. This move increased people’s anxiety and they had doubts if fair polling would be there. As emergency was still prevalent, the press is censored, the truth couldn’t be found and the nation was in a state of confusion.
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There was visible inclination towards the opposition and the state of Indira Gandhi was quite pathetic. Although Indira Gandhi toiled hard for the upliftment of Indian women but the same women, rural women in particular, turned against her because of forcible sterilizations of their men done during Emergency. So as a result, in the general elections to Parliament, the ruling Congress was impressively defeated by the Janata Party which combined many opposition parties.

A Janata Party Government under Morarji Desai came into office. Indira Gandhi resigned, as Prime Minister, on March 22, 1977. In ten years of her Prime Ministership, since 1 966, Indira Gandhi had proved her worth and an intense feeling for her country and its people always remained deep down in her mind but after defeat she became withdrawn and an aloof person but not for long.

Politics grew within her and she couldn’t live without it. She matured with experience.” An intense love for her country and people always urged her to go on doing something for the country. Someone analysed her:” Her capacity to delink herself from even the most tension-fraught moments is what gave her the tremendous energy she possessed.” And with this renewed energy and enthusiasm she again started visiting people as she knew that the Janata Party had won because the sentiments of people were hurt due to wrongs done during Emergency.

In order to rectify her deeds, she again started establishing contacts with the masses. In the meantime, the constituents of the Janata Party developed internal conflicts. The Party also did a great blunder in arresting Indira on charges of the misuse of power but soon she was released abruptly as the charges couldn’t be proved. This move tarnished the image of the Janata Government and people started becoming sympathetic towards Indira.

As luck would have it, the Shah Commission of Enquiry against her also had bad effect on the image of the Janata Party. She was even imprisoned in 1978 and was taken to Tihar Jail but she never lost her fighting spirit and after every crisis, she emerged stronger than before.

As was evident, because of internal fights, the Janata government fell. Morarji Desai resigned and a “Caretaker” government under Chaudhary Charan Singh functioned until the country went to the polls again for elections to Parliament in January, 1980 in which Indira Gandhi won with an overwhelming majority. These elections again proved the abiding faith of people in Indira Gandhi.