Assembly elections, GST, high-profile cases mark 2017
New Delhi: Assembly elections in seven states, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), election of Ram Nath Kovind as the President and deaths of hundreds of children in separate cases across the country made headlines in the year 2017.
The Supreme Court’s ban on triple talaq calling it unconstitutional, former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav’s conviction in fodder scam, and acquittal of former telecom minister A Raja and DMK leader Kanimozhi in 2G Spectrum case were among some of the high-profile cases that the country saw this year.
The demise of film personalities including Shashi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Om Puri and Reema Lagoo, along with classical artists Kishori Amonkar and Girija Devi made news this year.
Following is the diary of domestic events:
Jan 1: Godda (Jharkhand): With the recovery of two more bodies today, the death toll climbed to 18 in the coal mine collapse at Lalmatia open cast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) in Godda district.
Jan 2: New Delhi: Housing, auto and corporate loans are all set to become cheaper with half a dozen PSU and private banks today steeply reducing benchmark lending rate by up to 1.48 per cent after spurt in deposits following demonetisation.
Jan 4: New Delhi: India today expressed confidence that the Indo-US relationship will be “brighter” under Donald Trump’s presidency and said there has been high-level engagement with his prospective team in deepening the ties.
Jan 5: New Delhi: Amid the government’s intense push for cashless economy, a Parliamentary Standing Committee today voiced concern over security of digital transactions and pressed for overhauling the legal framework for the same besides creating awareness about safe online practices.
Jan 6: Chandigarh: Election Commission today transferred 14 IPS officers in Punjab, where polling for the assembly election is scheduled for February 4.
Jan 7: New Delhi: Deepening ties, India and Portugal inked seven pacts to boost engagement in a wide range of areas including defence and security, IT and renewable energy even as they took a veiled dig at China for stalling New Delhi’s move at the UN to designate JeM Chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
Jan 9: Lucknow: Amid the continuing factional feud in his party, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav extended an olive branch to his rebellious son Akhilesh Yadav, saying he would be the next Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh if the party retains power.
Jan 10: New Delhi: In strong remarks that are bound to spark controversy, Congress advised Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi to work as Constitutional head of the Union Territory and “not as BJP worker”.
Jan 11: Jammu: Two terrorists were killed by the army as it foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
Jan 12: Patna: A CISF jawan shot dead his four senior colleagues with his service rifle in a fit of rage following a heated argument in Bihar’s naxal-hit Aurangabad district, officials said.
Jan 13: New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked top government officials to continue thinking holistically and give top priority to “concrete outcomes” as he emphasised that the Centre is open to new ideas.
Jan 14: Ambala: Haryana Minister Anil Vij today courted controversy with remarks that Mahatma Gandhi’s image did not help Khadi and caused devaluation of the currency, sparking widespread outrage with even his party BJP condemning the statements following which he withdrew them.
Jan 15: Patna: As the toll in boat tragedy in river Ganga here climbed to 24, the opposition today blamed alleged mismanagement and negligence at a government-organised event for the incident while Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ordered a high-level inquiry.
Jan 15: New Delhi: Ending the suspense, cricketer- turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu today joined the Congress after meeting Rahul Gandhi and the party said it would be “immensely strengthened” in poll-bound Punjab with his presence.
Jan 16: New Delhi: In a significant breakthrough in implementation of India’s biggest tax reform, the deadlock over administration of GST ended today after the Centre agreed to allow states control over most of small taxpayers, but the rollout date was pushed back by 3 months to July 1.
Jan 17: New Delhi: Efforts to form a “grand secular alliance” in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh went into top gear today with the Congress declaring that it has decided to tie up with Samajwadi Party and the shape of the formation would be announced in the next two days.
Jan 18: Jodhpur: In a relief for Salman Khan, a trial court today acquitted the Bollywood star of all charges in the Arms Act case in the alleged poaching of two black bucks 18 years ago, holding that the prosecution permission given by the district administration was a “mindless move”.
Jan 19: In a significant development, Jammu and Kashmir Assembly today unanimously passed a resolution for creating a conducive atmosphere for the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, with the state government asserting it will go ahead with the proposal of setting up transit camps for the displaced community which is being strongly opposed by separatists and some mainstream groups.
Jan 20: Chennai/New Delhi: Moving swiftly, the Centre tonight cleared an ordinance on Jallikattu, paving the way for Tamil Nadu government to promulgate it in an effort to end the protests that have paralysed the state for the last four days.
Bhubaneswar: Twelve people were killed as seven coaches and the engine of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailed near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh tonight.
Jan 23: Vadodara: One person was killed and two policemen were injured as crowd went berserk after Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan arrived at the railway station here tonight by August Kranti Rajdhani Express for promotion of his upcoming film ‘Raees’.
Jan 24: Srinagar: Security forces today gunned down two foreign militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba outfit in Kashmir and claimed to have achieved a major success, saying the slain terrorists had been directed by their Pakistan-based mentors to carry out attacks on the eve of the Republic Day.
Jan 26: New Delhi: The quantum of new currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 printed before the announcement of demonetisation on November 8 cannot be disclosed as it may affect interests of the State, a subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) responsible for printing currency, has said.
Jan 28: Jaipur: Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali cancels the shooting of “Padmavati” here, saying the assault on him and vandalism on the sets of his movie by a Rajput group that triggered outrage in the film industry were “uncalled for” and extremely damaging to the image of the beautiful city.
Jan 30: New Delhi: Voicing displeasure over the alliance between Samajwadi Party and Congress, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav says he would not campaign for it in the state assembly polls.
Jan 31: New Delhi/Islamabad: Amidst chill in Indo-Pak ties, Pakistan declines an invitation by Indian Parliament and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to attend South Asian Speakers’ Summit to be held next month.
Feb 1: New Delhi: India and Russia voice concern over the emergence of Af-Pak region as the epicentre of terrorism, as the two sides discussed the threats posed by the menace, including state-sponsored cross border terrorism.
Feb 2: New Delhi: Dense fog claims nine lives in Uttar Pradesh as similar conditions prevail in most parts of northern India where Leh in frontier Ladakh region froze at a low of minus 13 degrees Celsius.
Feb 3: Kohima: Violent mobs go on rampage in the Nagaland capital to vent their anger against ongoing elections to urban local bodies, vandalising and setting on fire government offices and vehicles, prompting deployment of five columns of army to bring the situation under control.
Feb 4: Panaji: A high voter turnout of over 83 per cent recorded in the Assembly polls in Goa, where the ruling BJP is engaged in a fierce fight with the Opposition Congress, AAP and an alliance of MGP, Shiv Sena and GSM for the 40-member House.
Feb 6: Chennai: As questions continued to rage over the death of J Jayalalithaa, London-based specialist Richard Beale, Apollo and government doctors rules out poisoning as the cause and asserts that there was “no conspiracy” or mystery in either the treatment or what led to her end.
Feb 7: New Delhi: A replica of the Nobel Peace Prize and its citation awarded to child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi were among the valuables stolen from his southeast Delhi residence in his absence.
Feb 8: Chennai: AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala expells party’s Puducherry leader Om Sakthi Segar from the primary membership for alleged anti-party activities after he reportedly extended support to Chief Minister O Panneerselvam who has launched a rebellion against her.
Feb 9: Haridwar: Noting that next five years are as vital for Uttarakhand as they are in the growth of any 16-year-old, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asks people to vote out the government which had “tainted the name of Devbhoomi” and replace it with one that could translate Atal Bihar Vajpayee’s vision for the state.
Feb 11: New Delhi: Yusuf Pathan has become the first Indian male cricketer to sign for an overseas franchise-based T20 league and he feels the Hong Kong League in March will be ideal preparation for the upcoming IPL.
Feb 12: Haridwar: Hitting back at BJP on the issue of corruption, Rahul Gandhi today asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave tickets to tainted leaders thrown out of Congress and took the “trash” into his party.
Feb 13: New Delhi: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju stirred a controversy with remark that the population of the Hindus in India was going down as they “never convert people”, while minorities are flourishing unlike some other countries.
Feb 14: Srinagar: Four army men, including a Major, and an equal number of militants were today killed while 8 other security personnel and a civilian were injured in two separate encounters in Kashmir, officials said.
Feb 16: Mumbai: RBI today proposed to drastically cut MDR charges on debit card payments from April 1 with a view to maintain momentum of digital transactions post note ban, especially among small merchants.
Feb 17: Rae Bareli (UP): Priyanka Gandhi joined brother Rahul Gandhi in attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “adopted son” remark, saying Uttar Pradesh does not need an outsider when it has its own to take it forward.
Feb 25: New Delhi: Against the backdrop of some politicians allegedly making statements invoking religious sentiments, the Election Commission dubs it as an unhealthy trend and asked them to desist from such remarks.
Feb 26: Chandigarh: The Jats observed ‘Black Day’ across Haryana amid tight security arrangements, even as the agitation by the community passed off peacefully.
Feb 27: New Delhi: The campaign of a Kargil martyr’s daughter against the ABVP draws controversial reaction from BJP leaders with Union minister Kiren Rijiju wondering who was “polluting” her mind and another comparing her with wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
Feb 27: New Delhi: With pellet guns leaving hundreds of protesters in Jammu and Kashmir with severe eye injuries, a modified version of the weapon will now be used to ward off any protest ahead or during any anti-militancy operations.
Feb 28: Imphal: Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi demands that the contents of the Naga Accord, signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, should be made public and accused the PM of “spreading hate and lies” wherever he went.
Mar 1: Balasore (Odisha): India successfully test-fires its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile capable of destroying any incoming enemy ballistic missile at low altitude.
Mar 2: New Delhi: The navy successfully test-fires an anti-ship missile for the first time from an indigenously built Kalvari class submarine, describing the launch as a significant milestone in enhancing its “sub-surface” warfare prowess.
Mar 3: Raipur: Two security personnel were killed and as many injured in an exchange of fire with Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, says police.
Mar 11: Lucknow/New Delhi: Decimated in the UP polls, the BSP alleges tampering of EVMs, prompting the Samajwadi Party and the Congress to demand a probe, but the Election Commission said there was “no merit” in the charge.
Mar 12: New Delhi: A day after the massive poll victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today appears to be setting his sights beyond the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as he asked the countrymen to join him in building a ‘new India’ by 2022.
Mar 13: New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional charge of the Defence Ministry after Manohar Parrikar resigned to take on the new role of Goa Chief Minister.
Mar 15: Jaipur/Allahabad/New Delhi: It was a bad day for Indian Air Force as a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer hours after a Chetak helicopter crash landed and toppled in Kaushambi near Allahabad.
Mar 16: New Delhi: The Election Commission rejects as “baseless and wild” the charge of BSP supremo Mayawati that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were tampered with and asserted these were “fully tamper-proof”.
Mar 17: New Delhi: India and Russia signs two key agreements for long-term maintenance and technical support for Russian-made Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force.
Mar 18: Dehradun: BJP leader Trivendra Singh Rawat was today sworn in as Uttarakhand Chief Minister.
Mar 19: New Delhi: Jats today called off their quota agitation scheduled for tomorrow in the national capital, following a truce that was reached after a meeting between the leaders of the community and the Haryana government.
Mar 19: Lucknow: BJP’s hardline Hindutva poster boy and five-time MP, Yogi Adityanath was today sworn in as the 21st chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, heading a 47-member council of ministers that includes two deputy CMs.
Mar 20: New Delhi: The Cabinet today cleared four supporting GST legislations, paving the way for their introduction in Parliament as early as today.
Mar 21: New Delhi: The Supreme Court today suggested an out-of-court settlement of the lingering Ram Janam Bhumi- Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya, observing that issues of “religion and sentiments” can be best resolved through talks.
Mar 22: Lucknow: From Gorakhpur to Meerut, “anti-Romeo” squads of policemen today fanned out across Uttar Pradesh on the orders of new chief minister Yogi Adityanath, fulfilling a pre-poll pledge of the BJP to check eve-teasing.
Mar 23: New Delhi: Pakistan today asserted that the Jammu and Kashmir issue must be resolved as per the “aspirations of Kashmiris”, saying it can be suppressed but not quelled.
Mar 24: New Delhi: State carrier Air India along with four private airlines today banned Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad from flying on their aircraft, a day after he assaulted an Air India staffer.
Mar 25: Gorakhpur (UP): Amid a controversy over crackdown on slaughter houses, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Aditya Nath Yogi today said abbattoirs operating legally will not be touched but action will be taken against the illegal ones.
Mar 27: New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today introduced in Lok Sabha four bills on Goods and Services Tax, providing for a maximum GST rate of 40 per cent, an anti- profiteering authority and arrests for evading taxes.
Mar 27: New Delhi: The Supreme Court today made it clear that Aadhaar cards cannot be made mandatory by the government for extending benefits of social welfare schemes.
Mar 28: Greater Noida/New Delhi: Five people have been arrested in connection with attacks on African students in Greater Noida, sparking concern over their safety and prompting intervention by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who has promised immediate action.
Mar 30: New Delhi: India today refused to categorise the attacks of African nationals in Greater Noida as racial and said pending the probe it is not correct to draw a conclusion on “the nature and the reason” of these acts.
Mar 31: New Delhi: The government today notified a simplified Income Tax Return form for individuals which will be available for filing ITR for Assessment Year 2017-18 from tomorrow.
Apr 1: Itanagar: China should refrain from meddling in the internal affairs of India, says Union Minister Kiren Rijiju after Beijing objected to the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh next week.
Apr 2: Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu inducts into the Cabinet his son Nara Lokesh and six others besides the four opposition YSRC MLAs, who had joined his party TDP, after dropping five ministers.
Apr 3: New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath says “misconceptions” have been created about him due to his saffron-clad look and promised to win hearts of “all sections” by spreading a new idiom of happiness and prosperity.
Apr 4: Jammu: Pakistani troops violates the ceasefire and shelled forward posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, the third such violation in 24 hours.
Apr 5: New Delhi: The Cabinet approves the formation of an independent rail regulatory authority to determine tariffs ensuring fair play and level playing field for private players keen on investment in the railways.
Apr 6: New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacks the Prime Minister and the RSS for the Alwar attack, saying there is no place in the country for those disagreeing with them and that tragedies of huge proportion occur when government “abdicates responsibility”.
Apr 7: New Delhi: In another incident of unruly behaviour by an MP, TMC’s Dola Sen allegedly delays Air India’s Delhi- Kolkata flight by nearly 40 minutes after an argument over seating arrangement.
Apr 8: New Delhi: In a strong message, India and Bangladesh today called for strong action against States and entities which encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuaries to terror networks and falsely extol their virtues.
Apr 9: New Delhi: Bypolls were today held in nine Assembly constituencies in seven states, including Madhya Pradesh where incidents of firing were reported from two places in Ater seat.
Apr 10: New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today underlined his government’s pro-poor agenda and stressed the need to ensure that the poor’s trust in it is not broken as NDA constituents resolved to work toward its re-election in 2019 under his “strong” leadership.
Apr 11: New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today termed the Centre’s bid to roll out GST by July 1 as “impractical and undesirable” and asked the government to push the date of its introduction to October 1.
Apr 11: New Delhi: Amid fresh strain in Indo-Pak ties, former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri today defended Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence, saying even Pakistanis were being tried by military courts.
Apr 12: New Delhi: Britain today said it is poised to be India’s financial “partner of choice” and a close ally for defence production post Brexit.
Apr 13: New Delhi: India has no information on retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s location in Pakistan or his condition, the external affairs ministry said today, noting that it is in touch with the government there on this “immensely important” issue.
Apr 14: Srinagar: The man, who was seen tied to an army jeep in a shocking video shot during the poll-day violence in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 9, apparently as a shield against stone-pelting protesters, has been identified as Farooq Dar.
Apr 15: New Delhi: Eight coaches of Meerut-Lucknow Rajya Rani Express derails near Rampur in Uttar Pradesh leaving at least two passengers injured, railway officials said.
Apr 15: Srinagar: National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah wins the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypoll, defeating the ruling PDP candidate, Nazir Khan, by a margin of over 10,700 votes.
Apr 17: New Delhi/Kolkata: The CBI books 12 top TMC leaders, including MPs and ministers, in connection with the Narada sting operation case, drawing a sharp reaction from the party chief Mamata Banerjee, who called it a “political game”.
Apr 18: New Delhi: The CBI initiates an inquiry against Delhi PWD Minister Satyendar Jain in connection with alleged irregularities in the hiring of professionals in the Public Works Department.
Apr 19: New Delhi: Union minister and BJP leader Uma Bharti dismisses the Congress demand for her resignation after the Supreme Court ordered that she be tried for criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
Apr 20: New Delhi: India hits out at China for giving Chinese names to some parts of Arunachal Pradesh, saying assigning invented names to towns of the neighbour does not make illegal territorial claims legal.
Apr 21: New Delhi/Meerut: Concerned over disturbing reports about “harassment” of Kashmiri students, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked chief ministers of all states to ensure their safety.
Apr 22: Srinagar: Two militants, who opened fire on an army patrol, were killed by the security forces in an encounter today in the Budgam district of central Kashmir.
Apr 23: New Delhi: The high-stakes Delhi municipal polls today saw a voter turnout of 53.58 per cent that surpassed the 2012 figure of 53.43, even as rancour over “faulty EVMs” coloured the entire exercise with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal railing at the state election body.
Apr 24: New Delhi: In a major decision, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) today scrapped the moderation policy under which grace marks are given to students in exams for difficult questions.
Apr 24: Raipur/New Delhi: At least 25 CRPF personnel were killed and seven wounded in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district today, the deadliest ambush by naxalites of security forces this year.
Apr 24: New Delhi: The Hall of Nations and the Hall of Industries, two of the national capital’s iconic modern architectural landmarks, celebrated globally, are now history.
Apr 26: Lucknow: In the biggest administrative reshuffle since it assumed power in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government today transferred 84 IAS and 54 IPS officers including district magistrates and police chiefs.
Apr 27: New Delhi: The government has ratified 8.65 per cent rate of interest on EPF deposits for 2016-17 which would now be credited into the accounts of members of the retirement fund body EPFO.
Apr 28: New Delhi: NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya today categorically stated that there is no question of taxing agriculture income at a time when the government is keen on doubling the income of farmers.
Apr 29: New Delhi: Digvijay Singh, the long-standing Gandhi family loyalist, was today removed as the party’s general secretary incharge of Karnataka and Goa.
Apr 30: Gorakhpur: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today drew flak for sharing the stage with murder- accused MLA Amanmani Tripathi at a party event here, with the opposition alleging that it had exposed the real face of the BJP leader who had promised to clamp down on criminals.
May 1: Chennai: In a setback to merger talks between the AIADMK rival factions, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam blamed each other today for the merger talks continuing to be a non-starter.
May 2: New Delhi/Islamabad: India today warned Pakistan of an “unequivocal response” to the beheading of its two soldiers on the Indian side of the Line of Control, a charge rejected by Islamabad which sought “actionable evidence” from New Delhi to back its claim.
May 3: New Delhi: Ahead of the review of its record at the UN Human Rights Council, India said today it would continue to engage constructively with the council and other countries to promote and protect human rights.
May 4: Balasore (Odisha): India today test-fired its medium-range nuclear-capable Agni-II missile from an island off the Odisha coast as part of a user trial but the test is understood to have failed to meet the desired parameters.
May 5: New Delhi: The Centre has declared the entire Assam as a “disturbed” area under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act — the AFSPA — for three more months, citing various violent activities by insurgent groups ULFA, NDFB and others.
May 6: New Delhi: Around 450 girl students were hospitalised today after toxic fumes spread due to chemical leakage at a container depot near two schools in southeast Delhi’s Tughlaqabad area.
May 6: New Delhi: Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra was axed from the Cabinet today, days after he sided with senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas who has been at loggerheads with the party leadership.
May 7: New Delhi: Starting Wednesday, a metro ride in Delhi will cost you nearly double the amount it currently does, with the authorities announcing a steep, two-phase hike in passenger fares today.