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A History of the SikhsVolume 2: 1839-2004$
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Khushwant Singh

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195673098

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195673098.001.0001

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Elections and the Accord

Elections and the Accord

(p.385) 23. Elections and the Accord
A History of the Sikhs

Khushwant Singh

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the general election of December 1984, which was connected to the assassination of Indira Gandhi a few months before. This election was fought by the Congress party, addressing the issue of the country’s integrity. Rajiv Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi, won the election and stated in his first nation-wide broadcast that his top priority was to settle the Punjab problem. The chapter notes that the Congress gained its most convincing victories in the states where anti-Sikh feelings were strong. It is followed by a discussion of Gandhi’s efforts to resume a dialogue with the Akalis and the Election of 1985. Another section covers the Akali’s complaints over the distribution of river waters. The chapter ends with an examination of the failure of the accord between Gandhi and Sant Longowal, which was mostly due to Gandhi’s failure to fulfil his part of the bargain.

Keywords:   general election of 1984, Congress party, Rajiv Gandhi, Punjab problem, Election of 1985, Longowal-Gandhi accord

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