New Delhi: In the political landscape of 1975, India found itself at the center of a storm when Justice Jagmohan Sinha of the Allahabad High Court delivered a verdict on June 12, questioning the legitimacy of the Lok Sabha elections and banning Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from contesting for six years. This decision, with far-reaching consequences, set the stage for a tumultuous period in Indian politics.
The Verdict and Its Impact:
Justice Jagmohan Sinha's decision to invalidate Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's election reverberated across the nation. The judgment not only became a topic of widespread discussion but also threatened to create a political upheaval.
Indira's Consideration to Resign:
Faced with the ramifications of the High Court's decision, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi contemplated resignation. However, she was persuaded to refrain from taking such a step, primarily due to the influence of her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi. Sanjay, often regarded as a key advisor to his mother, played a pivotal role in shaping decisions within the government.
Sanjay Gandhi's Influence:
Despite holding no official government position, Sanjay Gandhi wielded considerable power and influence within the Indira Gandhi administration. He was colloquially referred to as the "Super PM" and held his mother's trust to a significant extent. Vishnu Sharma's book, 'Indira Files,' highlights Sanjay's strategic role in advising his mother on critical matters.
Trust in Sanjay:
Sanjay Gandhi's select circle of trust included individuals like former Congress President Devkant Barua, Bansilal, and Charandas. Indira Gandhi, according to Sharma's account, had immense faith in Sanjay's judgment, often comparing him to Swami Vivekananda.
Rift Between Rajiv and Sanjay:
The fallout of the Allahabad High Court verdict led to a growing divide between the two Gandhi brothers. Rajiv Gandhi, the elder son, expressed his discontent with Sanjay's role in putting their mother in a difficult situation. The book cites Rajiv Gandhi's words, "I will never forgive Sanjay for putting my mother in this condition," reflecting the strained relationship.
Indira's Public Praise for Sanjay:
In an effort to bridge the growing gap between her sons, Indira Gandhi began publicly praising Sanjay. She went so far as to assert that Sanjay was more popular than Jawaharlal Nehru. Indira portrayed Sanjay as her staunch supporter during the challenging times following the Allahabad High Court's decision.
The political landscape of 1975 was marked by a unique interplay of familial ties, legal judgments, and political maneuvering. The aftermath of the Allahabad High Court verdict not only shaped the course of events for the Gandhis but also left an indelible mark on Indian political history.