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 Manipur stalemate persists
The high-level meeting between the Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, and the Samata Party leader and NDA convener, Mr. George Fernandes, today produced no tangible resolution of the stand-off between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samata, even as in Manipur, 41 MLAs formed a new front and waiting to stake claim to form a government under the leadership of Mr. R. K. Dorendra Singh, BJP legislature party leader.

Marwah may wait for a day or two
The Manipur Governor, Mr. Ved Marwah, is expected to wait for a day or two to allow alternative government formation in the State following the fall of the Samata Party-led ministry there before giving his fresh assessment on the political situation to the Centre.

New front
Hectic political activity is on in Manipur for the installation of an alternative Ministry after the defeat of the three-month-old People's Front Government of Mr. Radhabinod Koijam on Monday.

BJP chief warns Dorendra Singh
The BJP national president, Mr. Jana Krishnamurthi, today sternly warned the Manipur State party leader, Mr. R.K. Dorendra Singh, who had said that he was awaiting the nod from the Central party leadership to form a new Ministry, and forbade any BJP legislator in Manipur to join a new Ministry.

Ceasefire extension imminent
The Cabinet Committee on Security is scheduled to meet tomorrow to take a view on the extension of the ceasefire in Kashmir. Indications are that the Centre would persist with its peace strategy and extend the ceasefire, which is to expire at the end of May.

JKDFP office attacked
Unidentified militants today lobbed a grenade on the headquarters of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party.

Jayalalitha's appointment challenged
A public interest litigation petition seeking to restrain the AIADMK general secretary, Ms. Jayalalitha, from functioning as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, following her disqualification to contest elections to the State Assembly, will be heard by the Madras High Court in the first week of June, after the court's summer vacation.

More alimony for women likely
The Government will introduce a Bill in Parliament to amend certain legal provisions to enable women and other dependents to seek higher maintenance. At present, the maximum maintenance permissible under the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C) is Rs. 500.

Ceasefire must continue: Jamir
The Nagaland Chief Minister, Mr. S.C. Jamir, today favoured extension of ceasefire in the State beyond July 31 so that a political dialogue could be initiated with insurgent groups while Mr. K. Padmanabhaiah, Centre's interlocutor on Nagaland, is in Bangkok holding talks with the NSCN.

Blasts damage border pillars
Militants triggered two bomb explosions near the international border in Kanachak sector of Jammu division, damaging seven pillars meant for border fencing.

Three Customs officials held
In a significant development in the Uzbekistan-based smuggling racket, the CBI today arrested three Customs officials on the charge of having helped Olga Kozireva, an Uzbek woman, by clearing her baggage without payment of any duty.

Person can't contest if conviction is not stayed: AG
The Attorney General, Mr. Soli Sorabjee, has refused to comment on the swearing-in of Ms. Jayalalitha as the Chief Minister despite her conviction in a corruption case but feels there is a ``strong view'' that if the conviction is not stayed, the person is not eligible for contesting election.


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