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Chunav flashback: Congress paid a heavy price for Sanjay Gandhi's sterilisation initiative in 1977 elections

There was anger among the people due to the forced sterilisation by Sanjay Gandhi in the 1977 general elections which resulted in disaster for the Congress.

Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 New Delhi Published on: April 19, 2024 16:56 IST
Chunav flashback: Congress paid a heavy price for Sanjay
Image Source : INDIA TV Chunav flashback: Congress paid a heavy price for Sanjay Gandhi's sterilisation initiative in 1977 elections

The general election was dreadful for the Indian National Congress in 1977. It resulted in a heavy defeat for the Congress, with the incumbent Prime Minister and INC(R) party leader Indira Gandhi losing her seat in Rae Bareli, while her son Sanjay lost his seat in Amethi.?

Among many aspects which resulted in Congress' disaster, the family planning program which was one of the major initiatives of the Indira Gandhi government during the Emergency, worked as the last nail in the coffin. Sanjay Gandhi had put a condition of sterilisation of two people every month to join the Youth Congress. There was anger among the people due to forced sterilisation. The party had to pay the price for this in the general elections held in 1977. Congress was bound to lose.

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According to the news published by Amar Ujala on March 29, 1976, Sanjay Gandhi said at the Youth Congress rally in Lucknow that for every person below 37 years of age the doors are open for Youth Congress. There is only one condition for this they will have to undergo sterilisation. Atleast two men every month. Sanjay Gandhi accused the Jan Sangh and the parties that formed an electoral alliance in 1971 of being fascists.

In the rally, the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Narayan Dutt Tiwari praised Sanjay Gandhi and his programs. He described Sanjay as a youth who changed history. This boosted the morale of Sanjay Gandhi, but it sent a wrong message to the public.

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