Was there any visible change in Indira Gandhi’s working style after she was re-elected as PM in 1980?

By Sunil Kumar

After the 7th General elections were held on 3rd and 6th Jan 1980; Indira Gandhi again became the 8th Prime Minister with a landslide victory of 353 seats; on Jan 14th.

Indira Gandhi is elected as the first female P...

Visit sunil-kumar.co.in Indira Gandhi is elected as the first female Prime Minister of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


English: The saree Indira Gandhi wore at the t...

Visit sunil-kumar.co.in English: The saree Indira Gandhi wore at the time of her death (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Her prime-ministership(the final innings of 4.5 years) was marked largely by the first Indian man in space(Rakesh Sharma); the Asiad in 1982(handled by Rajiv Gandhi), trouble in the Punjab(Operation BlueStar) and her subsequent assassination on 31 October 1984.

To reduce the supremacy of the Akali Dal; she propped up Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale(a radical Sikh preacher) in 1982; with her son and future PM Rajiv Gandhi and former President Zail Singh even arranging his visits to Delhi; apart from visiting him in the Punjab(source: Mark Tully and Satish Jacob’s book(Amritsar; Mrs. Gandhi’s last battle).

The state of Punjab saw a drastic increase in terrorism during 1983–1984. Also, Assam in the north-east festered with communal violence. The Janata Party had broken up into many factions; and the BJP was created in April 1980.

Pakistan was witnessing military general-turned- President Zia-Ul-Haq’s Shariaization; the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, support and training for Sikh terrorists; protests by a “Movement For Restoration of Democracy” after the hanging of Zulfiqar Bhutto; former PM.

The death of the formidable younger son Sanjay Gandhi in an aircrash meant that Indira was back to her earlier self; throwing out many of Sanjay’s men; but retaining his style and ideology; “neither right, nor left”; according to this article. Also; a renewed emphasis on exports was made; given the economy.

Indira Gandhi: Tough, no-nonsense work-style begin to once again show through

She also continued India’s traditional non-aligned policy; picked her people, modifying them with the same ruthless calculation, managing the Congress governments around the country. In short; one of the most charismatic and powerful woman leaders in the world.


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