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 Deny ticket to people with criminal background: President
The President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, today led the political leadership in celebrating the country's electoral democracy, but reminded everyone that there were aberrations in the electoral system that needed to be addressed.

Agni-II second test successful
India today successfully carried out the second test of the Agni-II missile to bridge a key gap in its evolving nuclear forces.

PM testing waters on reforms
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today continued consultations with a core group of Ministers on how much to push the reforms agenda in the forthcoming Budget. The first round of discussions was held on January 3 and the third round is slated for January 28.

Dialogue on our terms: Advani
Indicating a hardening of stance in the internal debate over the nature and direction of the ``peace process'' in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, has made it clear that the ``dialogue'', if any, will be conducted on ``our'' terms and according to ``our'' agenda.

5 killed in Bihar violence
Five people were killed and more than 100 houses set on fire under Rupauli police station limits of Purnea district in Bihar on Tuesday night.

Govt. should rethink decision on ceasefire: BJP
The Bharatiya Janata Party is of the view that if the kind of violence unleashed by Pakistan-based terrorists, seen here and in Kashmir over the last few weeks, continues, ``it may not be worthwhile for India to take further unilateral steps'' towards establishing peace and trying to find a solution to the Kashmir tangle.

A direct threat, says Pak.
Pakistan today dubbed the testing of the Agni-II missile a ``direct threat'' to its security and reiterated its proposal for a ``strategic restraint regime'' between the two countries to promote nuclear and conventional stabilisation.

Musharraf hopes talks will resume
The Pakistan military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, tonight expressed the hope that the process of dialogue with India would begin soon to resolve all disputes, including Kashmir.


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