1996 in India

From Academic Kids

See also: 1995 in India, other events of 1996, 1997 in India and the Timeline of Indian history.


  • January - A major corruption scandal erupts involving allegations that many senior politicians and civil servants have received bribes from prominent businessman Surendra Jain.
  • Late January - Tensions with Pakistan rise sharply and there is an exchange of mortar and machine-gun fire across the Line of Control in Kashmir.
  • January 29 - S.R. Bommai resigns as president of the Janata Dal party and is replaced by Laloo Prasad Yadav.
  • April 27, May 2 and 7 - In general elections the ruling Congress Party is defeated and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) becomes the largest single party in parliament. Phoolan Devi, former bandit queen is elected to Parliament from the Samajwadi Party.
  • May 16 - BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee is sworn in as prime minister. However, he fails to muster a parliamentary majority and resigns on May 28.
  • June 1 - H.D. Deve Gowda is sworn in at the head of the United Front, a coalition of 13 parties which Congress supports but does not join. Gowda's new cabinet brings in powerful regional figures, mixing low-caste and minority Muslim leaders with weathered veterans of the socialist movement.
  • June 28 - Communists join the government for the first time since independence.
  • July 11 - A Delhi court summons Congress president P.V. Narasimha Rao to testify as the co-accused in a cheating case.
  • August 28 - At least 194 pilgrims are reported to have frozen to death in northern Kashmir after being stranded by violent rain and snow storms.
  • September 19 - The government of Gujarat under Chief Minister Suresh Chandra Mehta is sacked on recommendation of Prime Minister Gowda, and federal rule is imposed over the state. The move comes a day after the BJP government in Gujarat won a controversial vote of confidence in the state legislature. Mehta won the vote after the acting assembly speaker (a BJP member) suspended all opposition legislators. Fighting broke out on the floor of the assembly after marshals tried to force the suspended legislators to leave. Witnesses said lawmakers hurled pin cushions and microphones at each other. Several lawmakers and journalists were reportedly injured in the scuffles.
  • September 22 - Rao resigns as president of the Congress Party. On September 23 Sitaram Kesri is elected Congress president.
  • October 10 - Rao is arrested on fresh charges of forgery.
  • October 11 - An Uttar Pradesh state election returns a hung assembly; the local power struggle sharpens conflicts between Congress and coalition parties at national level.
  • November 12 - A Saudi Arabian Boeing 747 jumbo jet and a Kazakhstan Ilyushin cargo plane collide near New Delhi, killing 349 people in the world's deadliest mid-air collision.
  • November 28 - Chinese President Jiang Zemin begins the first visit by a Chinese head of state to India.
  • December 19 - Rao resigns as Congress parliamentary leader, his last official party position.

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