The relationship of the Congress-I with the DMK will continue, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said in Madras. When asked if the AIADMK had come close to her party, she replied, you can ask the local people. Commenting on the AIADMK’s use of the National Security Act in tackling the farmers’ agitation when the Act was not used in Maharashtra, Mrs Gandhi said that local existing laws could have been used to handle the situation. “Whether the use of NSA is justified is for you to judge,” she said. The Centre’s intention is not to use NSA for political purposes but against anti-social elements, the PM said. She reiterated that there was no move to impose the presidential form of government.
The BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee has suggested a formula for solving the foreigners’ problem in Assam. The formula includes detection of all foreigners on the basis of relevant provisions of the Constitution and the existing laws, making use of the 1951 NRC to regularise all entrants up to 1951 and removal of the names of all foreigners who came to Assam between 1961 and 1971. He said that the leaders of the Assam agitation were ready for talks and the government should extend an invitation to them.
The first MIG-23 ground attack aircraft have arrived. Attempts are made to include them as a surprise element in the Republic Day fly parade. The first batch of the IAF pilots are also back from the Soviet Union after receiving training on operating the aircraft.
Iran hostage crisis
A top Iranian negotiator indicated for the first time today that Iran has dropped its demand that the US deposit $ 24 billion in Algerian banks before the 52 American hostages being held in Iran are held. Iran also has asked for international guarantees.
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