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 We will abide by court verdict: Vajpayee
The Rajya Sabha today handed the Vajpayee Government a major embarrassment when it adopted, by a 121-86 margin, a motion, recording its ``disagreement'' with the Prime Minister over his strong defence of his three Cabinet colleagues charged in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

A victory for Opposition: Congress
Having succeeded in getting its motion expressing disagreement with the Prime Minister's statement passed in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress today claimed that the Opposition had won the battle of wits against the Government on the Ayodhya issue.

Ceasefire may be extended
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, is likely to announce an extension of the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir in the Lok Sabha on Friday (December 22), last day of the winter session. By that time the Government would also know the All-Party Hurriyat Conference's latest stance.

Stay within 'limits', PM tells allies
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today virtually issued a warning to his government's allied and supporting parties that when raising issues of concern to them they should keep ``within limits'' (seema ke andar) and within the parameters of ``decorum'' (maryada). Strangely, he chose to send this message to his allies while addressing the parliamentary party meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party this morning.

Women's bill: BJP pushing for poll panel formula
The Bharatiya Janata Party is making serious backroom efforts to arrive at a ``consensus'' not on giving women 33 per cent reservation in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, but on the ``suggestion'' by the Election Commission that the Representation of the People Act be amended to make it mandatory for all recognised political parties to select at least 33 per cent women candidates for all Lok Sabha and Assembly seats the party contests.

'All-party meet needed to discuss propriety issues'
The Government's defeat in the Rajya Sabha today may have no constitutional bearing, but there is a question of ``ethics and propriety.''

We could not prevent demolition: Uma Bharti
The Union Sports Minister, Ms. Uma Bharti, today told the Justice Liberhan Commission of Inquiry that she (and other party leaders) had tried to prevent the demolition of the domes of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 before its demolition but in vain as she was pushed by the karsevaks. The RSS chief, Mr. K. S. Sudarshan, is expected to depose before the Commission tomorrow.

Iftar for image building
It was the Prime Minister's turn today to host the politically desirable `Iftar party' here in this month of Ramadhan. The big question was whether Muslims would heed the `boycott' call by Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid. The Imam had been provoked by the Prime Minister's controversial statements on the Ayodhya dispute.

'Indian response piecemeal'
The Pakistan Foreign Minister, Mr. Abdus Sattar, has said that while Pakistan mooted comprehensive proposals for resolution of the Kashmir issue, it was receiving response piecemeal.


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