‘While I sat silently like the captain of a sinking ship, slowly watching the sinking ship…’

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Shanta Kumar, Former CM, Himachal Pradesh The day was February 12, 1980. Shimla was shaking in the cold wave. I am not a very early riser, but I usually get up by 6 o’clock. Why did you sleep for a long time that day? Telephone bells started ringing very early in the morning. But mother did not wake me up. Wife Santosh and children were in Delhi. In January itself, the Congress government was formed in Delhi. After that, the work of toppling the state governments by defection was started. In Himachal Pradesh too, there was a stampede among the Janata Party MLAs. Every day, one by two, MLAs were leaving our party and joining the Congress. I used to ask a journalist friend of mine on the phone everyday like this, ‘Today’s score…?’ Whatever news he had about those leaving the party, he used to tell me. It was clear to me that the government would not last. We had no remedy for the reasons and the manner in which the MLAs were leaving the party.

[Attribution to NBT]

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