Forty Years Ago, September 17, 1979: Afghan Prez Resigns

The Indian Express front page on September 17, 1979

Nur Mohammad Taraki of Afghanistan resigned as president and party leader in Afghanistan, the state-owned Radio Kabul announced. He has been replaced by Hafeezullah Amin, prime minister and first minister of Afghanistan, who is considered a more hard-line communist than Taraki his government had been preoccupied with combating a spreading Muslim rebellion. Taraki came to power in April, 1978, following a bloody coup which toppled the government of Mohammed Daoud. Taraki, a scholarly poet-politician, was considered a less ardent communist than many members of the pro-Soviet Khalq (people s) Party.

Future RSS Govt

RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras said the RSS will gain the popularity needed for forming the government in the country in the next 10 years. Nobody can have any grudge in case of such an eventuality in the democratic set-up, he told a closed-door question-answer meeting attended by about 100 persons in Bhopal. He said the present tirade against the RSS was because of its gaining popularity since the Emergency. He said dual membership was a non-issue, and that political parties should not bother with what their members do besides politics. Deoras described the former external affairs minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee s recent observations on the RSS, as embarrassing . He said RSS member could not be barred from becoming MPs and MLAs, as desired by Vajpayee.

Akali Dal Split

Akali Dal president, Jagdev Singh Talwandi, has suspended the revenue minister, Jiwan Singh Umranangal, and three MLAs Parkash Singh Majithia, Hari Singh Zira, Kartar Singh Vaid and Gurbachan Singh from for anti-party activities. Talwandi said a meeting of the Dal Working Committee was being called on September 18 to endorse the decision. The action is a sequel to the call given by the pro-Badal delegates for a parallel delegate session on October 10.