Gandhi expands team; controversial figure back
New Delhi — Prime Minister Indira Gandhi expanded her five-month-old government Sunday and brought back as a Cabinet minister one of the most controversial figures of her previous emergency rule, Vidya Charan Shukla. Mr. Shukla, information minister during the 21-month-long emergency, was one of three new Cabinet ministers sworn in along with 12 junior ministers. Mr. Shukla was appointed civil supplies minister.
As information minister during the emergency, which ended with Mrs. Gandhi's 1977 election defeat, Mr. Shukla was responsible for strict press censorship and was later criticized by party colleagues. Mr. Shukla and the prime minister's son, Sanjay, were sentenced to two years' imprisonment last year after they were found guilty of destroying a film that satirized Mrs. Gandhi and other politicians during her emergency rule. The two were freed on bail pending appeal and were acquitted by the Supreme Court after Mrs. Gandhi returned to power in a midterm election last January.