News In Brief

Deposed Indian state leader says backers bribed to defect

N. T. Rama Rao, deposed last week as the top elected official of Andhra Pradesh State, charged Thursday that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's party had offered his supporters up to $250,000 in bribes to defect. He said he would hold six days of mass meetings in his southern state, beginning Saturday, to demand an early convening of the state assembly so he could prove he still has majority support. He said he would abide by the assembly's decision if he's found to lack a majority.

More than 100,000 people rallied in New Delhi Wednesday to protest his removal. Mr. Rama Rao's dismissal has been embarrassing for Mrs. Gandhi, who denied in Parliament that she knew about it in advance.

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