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National Events in February 1998

3rd Feb

The BJP releases its election manifesto promising to make India a nuclear state, build a Ram temple at Ayodha and to work for a uniform civil code.

4th Feb

Seven naxals are killed in encounter with police in the Chadmal forest in Nizamabad district in Andhra Pradesh.

5th Feb

The Assam Governor, Lt. Gen. (retd) S. K. Sinha, rejects the CBI plea seeking sanction to prosecute the Chief Minister, Mr. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, for his alleged role in the Letter of Credit scam, saying there is no prima facie evidence establishing his criminal culpability.

7th Feb

The Congress(I) returns to power in Nagaland with 48 of its candidates declared elected unopposed to the 60-member Assembly. Non- Congress(I) parties including Naga outfits decide to boycott the February 22 polls.

8th Feb

The Election Commission asks the U.P. Government to prevent the Minister for Programme Implementation, Mr. Raghuraj Pratap Singh, from disturbing the election process in Pratapgarh and directs that he should not enter the district till the February 16 poll. An FIR has been registered against him in a criminal incident.

A bomb blast at a rice mill at Satyamangalam in Thanjavur kills four persons. Police recover huge quantities of chemicals used in the manufacture of bombs.

10th Feb

Four persons are killed in an explosion at an unlicensed cracker unit near Kunnamkulam in Kerala's Thrissur district.

11th Feb

The Punjab police unearth a plot to kill the Prime Minister, Mr. I. K. Gujral, the Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, and the Congress(I) leader, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, by a pro-Khalistan militant group.

The CPI(ML) candidate for the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha seat, Prof. Anil Kumar Baruah, is shot dead by suspected ULFA militants at Neharani.

12th Feb

Twenty persons are killed in Tripura, eight in an ambush by National Liberation Front of Tripura militants in Dhalai district and 12 others are gunned down by All-Tripura Tiger Force militants at Urbadi village.

13th Feb

The Allahabad High Court quashes the Election Commission's directive for externment from Pratapgarh district of the U.P. Minister, Mr. Raghuraj Pratap Singh, saying the directive aimed at curtailing the liberty of a citizen.

India signs two agreements with the U.N. Development Fund for a $13.75-million grant for food security and environment support.

14th Feb

Fortyeight persons are killed and over 180 injured as serial blasts rock Coimbatore. An election-meeting to be addressed by the BJP leader, Mr. L. K. Advani, is called off. The Tamil Nadu Government bans two fundamentalist outfits, Al-Umma and Jihad Committee. The founder president of Al-Umma, S. A. Basha and 12 others are arrested in Chennai.

15th Feb

Six extremists die in a blast during a raid on a hideout following the serial blasts in Coimbatore.

16th Feb

The first phase of polling for general elections is held in 222 Lok Sabha constituencies in 20 States and Union Territories.

Eighteen are killed in landmine blasts and shootouts in election- related violence in Patna.

17th Feb

Repoll is ordered in 599 polling stations spread over nine States, following reports of largescale booth capturing. The Election Commission is to probe malpractices in Madhepura, Baghpat and Patna.

Another blast in Coimbatore kills four boys.

The ban on the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front has been extended for two more years.

18th Feb

Mr. C. Subramaniam, former Maharashtra Governor, is awarded Bharat Ratna.

The Coimbatore Lok Sabha election has been put off to February 28 in the wake of serial blasts.

19th Feb

A huge haul of explosives has been made in Coimbatore.

20th Feb

A car bomb found in Coimbatore on February 18 has been defused.

21st Feb

The U.P. Governor, Mr. Romesh Bhandari, dismisses the Kalyan Singh Government and inducts an 18-member Ministry headed by Mr. Jagadambika Pal of the Loktantrik Congress Party. The BJP moves the Allahabad High Court. The BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, goes on a ``fast-unto-death.''

A repoll is ordered in 1,500 Bihar booths following complaints of booth-capturing and largescale poll irregularities.

22nd Feb

The second phase of polling is held in 183 Lok Sabha constituencies.

23rd Feb

The Allahabad High Court stays the Governor, Mr. Romesh Bhandari's order dismissing the Kalyan Singh Government; Mr. Singh assumes charge again as the Chief Minister. Mr. Vajyapee ends fast.

The Samajwadi Party candidate for the Motihari Lok Sabha seat, Mr. Devendra Nath Dubey, is shot dead at Baniarpur in Patna.

The BJP leader, Mr. Ranjit Yadav, is shot dead in Sahibganj district.

The freedom-fighter, Mr. Ramdeo Singh, is shot dead at Salaunchak village in Bihar.

24th Feb

The Supreme Court orders a `composite floor test' in the U.P. Assembly.

The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, survives a bid on life as the army foils a militant attempt to explode an Improvised Explosive Device in the Ganderbal area.

26th Feb

Mr. Kalyan Singh wins the ``composite floor test'' in the Assembly, securing 225 votes against the 196 got by Mr. Jagadambika Pal.

27th Feb

The Supreme Court upholds reinstatement of the Kalyan Singh Government.

A five-member Congress(I)-led ministry of Mr. S. C. Marak is sworn in Meghalaya.

28th Feb

The third and final phase of polling is held in 131 Lok Sabha constituencies in 10 States and one Union Territory.

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