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PM defends Gujarat Govt. order on RSS
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today defended the recent order of the Bharatiya Janata Party Government in Gujarat lifting the ban on participation by Government employees in the activities of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

A major deviation, says Cong.(I)
The Congress (I) today deplored the Prime Minister's justification of the Gujarat Government order and his statement that since the RSS was a ``social and cultural'' organisation there was nothing wrong in Government servants being allowed to participate in its activities. To describe in such terms an organisation whose worker had assassinated Mahatma Gandhi was ``highly condemnable'', it said.

CVC told to probe major defence deals
The Government today directed the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to probe into allegations of the involvement of middlemen in all ``identified major defence purchases since 1985-86.''

Pak. hopeful of Clinton visit
The Pakistani military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, said here today there were ``indications'' that the U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, would include Pakistan in his South Asia itinerary.

Delhi firm on condition for talks
India today reiterated that Pakistan should terminate cross-border terrorism and stop hostile anti-India propaganda to revive the stalled dialogue between the two countries and ruled out third party mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue.

 Shooting of 'Water' begins
The filmmaker, Ms. Deepa Mehta, today began shooting indoors of her film, Water, even as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad president, Mr. Ashok Singhal, threatened to disrupt its filming even at the cost of his life.

Economic growth: Sinha optimistic
The Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, today expressed optimism that the economic growth during this fiscal year would be more than six per cent, against 5.9 per cent projected by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).

'Chadha not able to get visa endorsement'
The counsel for Mr. Win Chadha, former Bofors agent and an accused in the Bofors payoffs case, submitted to the special court that with the passport granted for one year (only the photocopy of the passport given to him), it would not be possible for him to get visa endorsement from the UAE authorities.

 No burning or banning can suppress human mind: PM
``Neither burning nor banning has been able to suppress the human mind,'' said the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, while inaugurating the 14th World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan here this morning.

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