1998 in India

From Academic Kids

See also: 1997 in India, other events of 1998, 1999 in India and the Timeline of Indian history.

Contents

January

February

  • February 14-15 - A series of car bombs kill at least 60 people and wound more than 200 in the southern city of Coimbatore, coinciding with the schedule of BJP president Lal Krishna Advani's campaign in the city.
  • February 16 - More than 100 million Indians cast their votes for 222 seats in the first phase of the general election. At least 21 people die in scattered violence.
  • February 21 - The Hindu nationalist BJP is ousted from power in Uttar Pradesh State after a coalition ally withdrew its support. On February 23, a bitter court battle restores the BJP-led government to power.
  • February 22 - The second phase of general elections is held for 184 seats.
  • February 26 - The BJP wins a vote of confidence in Uttar Pradesh.
  • February 28 - In the third major phase of general elections, the electorate votes for 131 seats.

March

  • March 2 - The counting of votes begins after elections marred by violence in which at least 150 were killed. The BJP and their allies emerge as the single largest political formation with 251 seats, the Congress Party and its allies winning 166 and the United Front 96.
  • March 3 - Congress says it is willing to form a government with the United Front's support to stop the BJP from ruling.
  • March 7 - The BJP crowns Atal Bihari Vajpayee as prime minister-aspirant.
  • March 9 - Sitaram Kesri resigns as Congress president. On March 14 Sonia Gandhi is elected to the post.
  • March 10 - The Election Commission constitutes the lower house with 539 members. The BJP and its allies form the single largest group.
  • March 10 - The president asks Vajpayee whether he is "able and willing" to form a government; he seeks proof of support from allies.
  • March 12 - A regional ally, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), withholds support from the BJP.
  • March 14 - The AIADMK agrees to support the BJP but says it will not join its planned government.
  • March 15 - Sonia Gandhi says Congress does not have the support to stake a claim to rule. The AIADMK agrees to join a BJP-led government. The president invites Vajpayee to form a government and take the oath as prime minister on March 19 and gives him ten more days to prove his parliamentary majority.
  • March 19 - Vajpayee takes office after assembling a diverse cabinet reflecting his 13-party coalition.
  • March 28 - The BJP-led coalition wins a parliamentary confidence vote by 13 votes thanks to last-minute backing from the regional Telugu Desam Party.

April

  • April 14 - The BJP unanimously elects senior leader Khushabhau Thakre as its new president. Thakre formally takes over in early May from Lal Krishna Advani, who is widely credited with crafting the political strategy that took the BJP from obscurity to power.
  • April 19 - Jayaram Jayalalitha, leader of key coalition partner AIADMK, demands the removal of three ministers facing graft charges. The communications minister is sacked.

May

  • May 11 - Vajpayee stuns the world by conducting three underground nuclear tests close to the Pakistan border. These are followed, two days later, by two more tests at the same site. The move provokes international outrage and punitive sanctions from the United States, Japan, and others.

hello.

June

  • June 1 - Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha presents a budget for 1998-99 (April-March) which sends stock markets lower. Under pressure from industry and markets, the government makes some embarrassing rollbacks on its budget proposals.
  • June 6 - The UN Security Council votes unanimously to condemn India and Pakistan for their nuclear weapons tests.
  • June 9 - Over 1,120 people are killed when a cyclone hits coastal areas of the western state of Gujarat.
  • June 19 - Separatist guerrillas shoot dead 25 members of a Hindu wedding party at Chapnari village in the Doda District of Jammu and Kashmir State.

July

  • July 20 - Jayalalitha launches another salvo against the coalition government, giving it a two-day ultimatum to implement a Supreme Court ruling on supply of river water to her southern state of Tamil Nadu or face "disastrous consequences".

August

  • August 4 - Guerrillas in Kashmir kill 19 people as cross-border firing by the Indian and Pakistani armies runs into its sixth day. On August 5, at least 104 people are reported dead.
  • August 7 - The AIADMK decides to continue its support after a water-sharing deal is struck between four southern provinces.
  • August 9 - In Kashmir, separatist Ali Mohammad Dar, the self-styled deputy supreme commander of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, is killed in a gunbattle with Indian police. A further 19 people die as violence flares across the disputed region on August 10.

September

  • September 25 - President K.R. Narayanan deals a blow to the Indian cabinet, urging it to review its recommendation to fire the government in the crime-plagued eastern state of Bihar.

October

  • October 18 - Pakistan and India end their first peace talks in a year with agreement to meet again next February in New Delhi.

November

  • November 6 - The first talks between India and Pakistan since 1992 over the disputed Siachen glacier end when Pakistan rejects an Indian proposal for a ceasefire.
  • November 26 - A passenger train rams into another train in the northern Indian state of Punjab, killing at least 201 people.
  • November 29 - The BJP pays a heavy price for its failure to halt a surge in the price of food items, especially onions, losing local elections to the main opposition Congress party in the key Hindi heartland states of Delhi and Rajasthan and failing to wrest control of the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

December

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