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 Review of Constitution: Defer move, says Opposition
The Opposition today questioned the Vajpayee Government's motives in ordering a review of the Constitution and demanded that the move be deferred until there was a consensus on the issue.

Govt. chooses Venkatachaliah
The Government today decided to appoint the former Chief Justice of India, Mr. M. N. Venkatachaliah, as the chairman of the National Commission to review the Constitution.

 Jayalalitha convicted in hotel case
The former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalitha, was today convicted by a Special Court in the `Pleasant Stay Hotel' case. Found guilty under two counts, the AIADMK general secretary was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one year and to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000 for each of the counts.

3 burnt alive
Protests by the AIADMK cadres to the Special Court's verdict against Ms. Jayalalitha took a gory turn as three women undergraduates of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) were charred to death and several others injured in a bizarre incident of arson near Dharmapuri today. About 70 students of the TNAU, returning by two buses to Coimbatore after a study tour, were waylaid by a group. The first bus became the target.

Meira Kumar quits Cong.(I)
The former Congress(I) MP, Ms. Meira Kumar, has resigned from the primary membership of the party. She has also quit as CWC member. Ms. Kumar, did not assign any reason for her decision in her terse three-line letter to the party president. She was also the chairperson of the party's SC/ST wing.

Accord over `Water'
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting today cleared Ms. Deepa Mehta's film ``Water'' after the director agreed to make some changes in the script to mollify the groups which had disrupted the shooting in Varanasi saying it hurt Hindu sentiments. The Centre's decision was conveyed to the Uttar Pradesh Government and a relieved Ms. Mehta hoped there would be no more disruption.

Gujral caution on review
The former Prime Minister, Mr. I. K. Gujral, today said he would not support ``vague'' and ``free-fishing'' attempts to review the Indian Constitution and called for more immediate legislative reforms such as those on electoral laws.

U.S. eases some curbs
The U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, has eased some of the restrictions on computer exports with a view to relaxing some ``unnecessary regulatory burden'' on both the Government and industry.

 Life term for Bleach, 5 others
In a significant judgment, the City Civil and Sessions Court, Calcutta, today sentenced a British national, Peter Bleach, and five Latvians to rigourous imprisonment (RI) for life and fined them Rs. 25,000 each on the charge of conspiring to wage war against the State in the Purulia Armsdrop case.

'Strike in PSUs total'
Work in over 240 Central public sector undertakings was adversely hit, following the one-day strike by their employees today.

Bajrang Dal firm on meet
The national president of Bajrang Dal, Mr. Surendra Jain, said at a press conference here today that the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister's message that the Bajrang Dal would not be allowed to hold its convention was undemocratic and unconstitutional.

Planes collide
Two planes collided on the ground at Tehran's Mehrabad airport today and firefighters said two persons were killed in the accident.

Dara Singh remanded
Dara Singh, prime accused in the Graham Staines murder case, after his arrest, was produced before a sub- divisional judicial officer last night and remanded to judicial custody till February 14.

Clinton keen on bridging the `distance' with India
The U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, has said that his visit to India next month should be seen, among other things, as an effort to ``engage'' the world's largest democracy; and that it was unfortunate that the U.S. has had a ``distant'' relationship with India for too long. Mr. Clinton was responding to questions after a meeting with Congressional leaders at the White House.

Cong.(I) nominates bigwigs for Haryana polls
All the Congress(I)'s top leaders in Haryana - former Chief Minister and CWC member Mr. Bhajan Lal, PCC(I) chief, Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Mr. Inderjit Singh and Mr. Virender Singh - are to contest the Assembly elections. The party announced 87 candidates today, while discussions were still on for the remaining three seats. Nominations for the February 22 polls close tomorrow.


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