2014: A eventful year for India
New Delhi: The year witnessed a change in India’s political guard with BJP unseating the Congress by notching up 281 of the 545 Lok Sabha seats. Narendra Modi was sworn is as the country’s 15th Prime Minister.
The states of Jharkahand, Maharashtra and Haryana witnessed a regime change and Jammu and Kashmir saw a hung Parliament in the recent elections.
A pleasant surprise of the year was child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi being conferred the Nobel Laureate. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malviya were chosen for the Bharat Ratna.
In Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal of the AAP who became Chief Minister resigned after a very short stint of 49 days in power. In Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Jayalalitha was convicted and jailed on corruption charges.
The country made space history with its successful launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission. One of the worst floods devastated Jammu and Kashmir and the year ended on a grim note with the militant attack on tribals in Assam villages.
Following is the diary of events for the year.
Jan 1: New Delhi: India scraps the scam-tainted Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland, nearly a year after allegations surfaced that kickbacks to the tune of Rs 360 crore were paid to bag the contract.
Jan 1: New Delhi: Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is tipped to be the next Army Chief, takes over as the Vice-Chief of the Army Staff.
Jan 2: New Delhi: The minority Aam Aadmi Party government crosses the first hurdle in the Delhi Assembly when its confidence motion sailed through easily with the backing of the members of Congress, JD(U) and an independent.
Jan 3: New Delhi: Following the December 16, 2012 gangrape incident, Delhi Police in a landmark decision announces that charge sheets in rape cases will be filed within 20 days to ensure speedy justice to victims.
Jan 4: New Delhi: A team of senior Indian officials leaves for Sudan, which is witnessing ethnic conflict that has killed at least 1,000 people so far.
Jan 5: New Delhi: Delhi Minister Rakhi Birla escapes unhurt in an attack on her car by unknown persons in Mangolpuri.
Jan 5: New Delhi: Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hails the successful launch of GSLV D5 satellite.
Jan 6: New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party disapproves of its leader Prashant Bhushan’s comment on carrying out a referendum for deployment of Army in Jammu and Kashmir after it touched off a major controversy
Jan 6: New Delhi: Manipur’s M Khayingthei and Mizoram’s Ramdinthara, who lost their lives while trying to save friends from drowning, are among three persons selected for ‘Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak’.
Jan 8: Ghaziabad: Activists of a fringe right-wing group attacks and vandalises the Aam Aadmi Party headquarters in Kaushambi here protesting against the controversial remarks of its senior leader Prashant Bhushan on the presence of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jan 8: New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee assures Bhutan that India will continue to support capacity-building efforts in the neighbouring country.
Jan 8: Thane: Nine passengers are charred to death in their sleep when a blaze ripped through three coaches of Bandra-Dehradun Express in Thane district in the wee hours, ten days after a fire mishap in a train leaves 26 people dead.
Jan 9: New Delhi: Mahatma Gandhi’s grand-daughter Ela Gandhi, Australian senator of Indian origin Lisa Maria Singh and Ramkrishna Mission in Fiji are among the 13 recipients of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award conferred.
Jan 9: New Delhi: The anti-corruption helpline, by Delhi Government, receives nearly 4,000 calls in first seven hours of its operation.
Jan 10: New Delhi: Senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade indicted for visa fraud and making false statements by a grand jury in the US, returns.
Jan 11: New Delhi: Justice Swatanter Kumar, a former Supreme Court judge, sends a legal notice to certain media organisations demanding apology for publicising allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a law intern.
Jan 11: New Delhi: Chaos prevailed at the first ‘janta darbar’ by AAP government forcing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to leave the venue mid-way.
Jan 14: New Delhi: Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti comes under attack from ally Congress and opposition BJP which demand his removal over his being indicted by a court for “tampering of evidence” in a case in which he had appeared as a lawyer.
Jan 15: New Delhi: A 51-year-old Danish tourist has been allegedly robbed and gangraped at knife-point near New Delhi railway station.
Jan 15: New Delhi: India and Pakistan discuss “impediments” hampering the normalisation of trade ties, in a bid to remove them and move forward.
Jan 16: Aam Aadmi Party MLA Vinod Kumar Binny mounts a shrill attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by calling him a “dictator” and accused his government of cheating people, prompting the party to threaten disciplinary action against the legislator.
Jan 17: New Delhi: Sunanda Pushkar, who was upset over an alleged extra-marital affair between her minister husband Shashi Tharoor and a Pakistani journalist, was found dead in a five-star hotel room which police suspect may be a case of suicide.
Jan 17: New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh joins other political leaders to condole the death of actress Suchitra Sen, saying she had “graceful cinematic presence.”
Jan 19: 18 people are killed and over 40 injured in a stampede as thousands of mourners converged to pay their last respects to the spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community Syedna Burhanuddin
Jan 21: New Delhi: Drug overdose appears to be the cause of the mysterious death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, according to the findings of doctors of AIIMS who conducted the autopsy on her.
Jan 21: New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs rejects Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s claim that a Ugandan official had met his Law minister Somnath Bharti in connection with an alleged sex racket.
Jan 22 Hyderabad: Akkineni Nageswara Rao, who scaled the peaks of Telugu cinema rivalling N T Rama Rao in stature between 50s and 70s, dies of cancer.
Jan 23: New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee gives seven more days to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly till January 30 to discuss and debate the draft Telangana bill before returning it to the Centre which promised to table the legislation in the upcoming session of Parliament.
Jan 24: Jammu: In a controversial decision, the Army closes the infamous Pathribal encounter case saying it has found no evidence against its men, drawing angry reaction from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah
Jan 25: New Delhi: Noted scientist R A Mashelkar and Yoga Guru B K S Iyengar are chosen for this year’s Padma Vibhushan, while cine star Kamala Haasan, author Ruskin Bond and late former Chief Justice J S Verma were selected for Padma Bhushan
Jan 25: Three personnel of the armed forces have been selected this year for the Kirti Chakra, the second highest peace time gallantry award, for their acts of bravery on the Line of Control (LoC), anti-maoist operation and relief operation in flood-hit Uttarakhand, respectively.
Jan 26: New Delhi: Cracking the whip, the Aam Aadmi Party expels its rebel MLA Binod Kumar Binny, ten days after he called Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a “dictator”.
Jan 26: New Delhi: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the Chief Guest at the 65th Republic Day parade becoming the first premier from that country to grace the occasion.
Jan 27: New Delhi: The Jain community becomes the sixth religious group accorded with the minority status following a notification issued by the Centre.
Jan 28: New Delhi: Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge is given additional charge of Social Justice and Empowerment ministry following the resignation of Kumari Selja.
Jan 29: New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rejects BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s contention that government flouted rules by issuing an advertisement inviting applications for posts of Lokpal chairman and members were illegal.
Jan 30: New Delhi: The Union Cabinet gave its approval to a bill that seeks to give wakf properties the status of public premises and make unauthorised occupation of waqf land a criminal offence.
Jan 30: New Delhi: Government suspends the ambitious scheme to pay LPG subsidy in cash to consumers directly but raises the quota of subsidised cooking gas to 12 cylinders per household in a year.
Jan 31: Dehradun: Vijay Bahuguna resigns as Uttarakhand Chief Minister.
Jan 31: New Delhi: Government orders magisterial inquiry into death of Nido Tania, son of a Congress leader from Arunachal Pradesh, who was allegedly beaten up by someshopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar area of South Delhi.
Feb 1: Dehradun: Harish Rawat, a Union Minister, is sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.