After seven and half months of horse-trading between various political parties, a Congress-led coalition ministry headed by Daroga Rai and supported by a six-party alliance was installed on February 16.
Other participants of the coalition are: the CPI, the PSP, the BKD, the Shoshit Dal, the Jharkhand Party and good many defectors.
This is the seventh ministry after the fourth general election and the third after the mid-term election.
The first non-Congress UF government headed by Mahamaya Prasad fell after ten month.
A Shoshit Dal ministry was formed under the leadership of Satish Sinha for three days.
BP Mandal went after 46 days.
Bhola Paswan Shastri resigned after 96 days.
President’s rule was imposed on July 20, 1968, which ended on February 25 next year after a mid-term poll.
The Congress led coalition led by Sardar Harihar Singh fell after 114 days.
Then Shastri managed to form a SVD government.
President’s rule was imposed for a second time on July 4, 1969.
Split in Congress
The political situation in the State took a dramatic turn with the split in the Congress party. It further deepened the political crisis with no party or alliance able to muster a majority.
There is no public explanation of what had prompted Governor Nityanand Kanungo to revise his first report to the President within 72-hours of its submission.
On a Wednesday, Kanungo found the situation unstable enough to propose extension of President’s rule. Before the week was over the Indicate Congress leader was discovered to have an adequate majority and fit enough to be invited to form a ministry.
The answer lies in New Delhi, with Indira Gandhi. From a situation in which decline seemed inevitable, she has emerged stronger than before.
The first step of the ‘progressive’ government has been to stay the notices issued to farmers under the Agricultural Income Tax Act.
A policy to exempt small farmers from tax is understandable. But a blanket-order staying all taxes on new assesses can only be interpreted as a surrender to vested pressure groups.
Ironically enough, the CPI has supported the decision.
Excerpts from Frontier 7 March 1970
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