Home Minister R Venkataraman expressed himself against any exercise of unbridled freedom by the press and asserted that there was a need to regulate freedom of expression. Responding to a noisy discussion on the curtailment of press freedoms in states such as Bihar, he said that Article 19 (2) of the Constitution allows the state to impose reasonable restrictions. The Opposition leaders, in contrast, described the Bihar amendments to the penal code as a “black bill” passed by a corrupt government. Venkataraman said that the Bihar government’s decision owed to two incidents. The first was the allegation that the CM had bathed in the blood of 100 goats at a tantrik’s advice. The other was reports of a well in Bihar Sharif being poisoned.
The Assam agitation leaders have told the election commissioner that it is their constitutional obligation to oppose elections in the state if foreigners are allowed to participate in them. They have asked the EC to not make any preparations for the elections till the Centre initiates concrete measures on the foreigners issue. The detection of foreigners should constitute the first step in the electoral process, they said.
Italian PM Giovanni Spadolini announced his resignation after 405 days in office, bringing to an end Italy’s 41st government since 1945. The resignation came after socialist members of his cabinet quit over the parliamentary defeat of a petroleum tax plan.
Indira Gandhi will visit the 40-year old Amitabh Bachchan who is waging a life and death battle in a Bombay hospital after an accident on a film set. This will be a private visit and she will be accompanied by Rajiv Gandhi.