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 Govt put on the back foot in Ayodhya-Babri debate
The Lok Sabha finally began the `Ayodhya/ Babri Masjid debate', with the Government finding itself, for most of the time, on the back foot. The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, is scheduled to reply tomorrow, after which the House will most probably see a division, forcing the National Democratic Alliance partners to take a stand, for the first time, on an issue that has been the litmus test for the secular/communal divide.

BJP allies fine tune strategy
The discomfort that some of the constituents of the NDA felt came to the fore today with the Lok Sabha members belonging to seven parties meeting here to fine tune their strategy, ahead of the scheduled voting tomorrow on the ongoing discussion on Ayodhya issue in the House.

Deadlock continues in Rajya Sabha
The deadlock over the Ayodhya issue continued to cast its shadow on the Rajya Sabha which was adjourned for the eighth day without transacting any business even as a discussion on it got underway in the Lok Sabha.

 U.S. Supreme Court rejects vote recount
A divided U.S. Supreme Court today appeared to hand the presidency to the Texas Governor, Mr. George W. Bush, in a bitterly disputed ruling that drove a legal stake through the heart of the Vice-President, Mr. Al Gore's hopes of moving into the White House.

Investigator not inquisitor: Madhavan
Mr. K. Madhavan, former CBI joint director and now, anti-corruption commissioner of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, has handled several sensitive cases including the Bofors scandal.

Case against Azhar, Jadeja
A criminal case has been registered by the police against former Indian skipper Mohammad Azaharuddin and batsman Ajay Jadeja for allegedly fixing the one-day cricket match between India and South Africa here in 1996.

Banking Bill introduced
The Government today introduced in the Lok Sabha a bill which seeks to reduce its equity in nationalised banks from 51 to 33 per cent and empowers it to supersede the board of directors of public sector banks and constitute a financial restructuring authority.

Postal talks today as court fixes deadline to end strike
Postal federation leaders will meet Government representatives tomorrow morning to convey their response in the light of the Delhi High Court's directions today asking both the sides to end the strike within two days.

Iraq resumes oil supply
Iraqi companies this evening started filling up a super tanker chartered by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) after a gap of nearly two weeks, IOC sources told PTI here.

'Gangworld links' to pressure actors and secure dates
The Crime Branch of Mumbai Police today arrested Nazim Hassan Rizvi, producer of Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy with the underworld gangster, Chhota Shakeel of Dawood Ibrahim's gang, to carry out attacks on film personalities.

President 'seeks' Cabinet view
The President, Mr. K.R. Narayanan, has sought the view of the Union Cabinet on the controversial Sardar Sarovar Dam and expressed his opinion on it, according to the ``Narmada Bachao Andolan'' leader, Ms. Medha Patkar.


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