Digest year-ender for domestic stories for month of February, 2019

New Delhi, Dec 31 (PTI) Feb 1: New Delhi: Making a big populist push in its final budget before elections, the Narendra Modi-government Friday exempted people with an earning of up to Rs 5 lakh from payment of income tax, announced an annual cash dole-out of Rs 6,000 to small farmers and provided a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to workers in the unorganised sector.

Feb 2: New Delhi: Ending speculation, the government on Saturday appointed former Madhya Pradesh Police chief Rishi Kumar Shukla as the director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), weeks after the controversial removal of Alok Kumar Verma from the post.

Feb 3: New Delhi: Six people died on Sunday after nine coaches of the Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express derailed in Vaishali district of Bihar, railway officials said.

Feb 4: Kolkata/New Delhi: A political firestorm raged Monday as Mamata Banerjee's sit-in protest against CBI's bid to question Kolkata police chief in chit fund scam cases entered the second day, with the West Bengal Chief Minister declaring her agitation to save the 'Constitution and country' will go on and she was ready to face the consequences.

Feb 5: New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday rapped the Centre over the National Register of Citizens(NRC) in Assam, observing it is 'hell bent' on stalling the process by seeking suspension during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls citing non-availability of security forces.

Feb 6: New Delhi: The death toll due to swine flu in Delhi has risen to six, even as 74 fresh cases of the HINI virus were recorded here on Wednesday, taking the total number of people affected by the disease in the city this year to 1,093, according to a report of the Directorate General of Health Services.

Feb 9: Haridwar/Saharanpur, Feb 9 (PTI): The death toll in the hooch tragedy that hit two adjoining districts in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh rose to at least 61 with more people dying of the spurious liquor they drank at a Haridwar village, officials said.

Feb 11: Lucknow: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra made her debut in Uttar Pradesh's political arena as Congress general secretary with a grand road show on Monday, raising hopes of a turnaround in the party's fortunes, as her brother and party president Rahul Gandhi asserted that it was the time to uproot the BJP and form the government in the state.

Feb 12: New Delhi: A massive fire engulfed a hotel in central Delhi's congested Karol Bagh area in the early hours of Tuesday, killing 17 people,including two people who jumped off the building in a desperate bid to save themselves, officials said.

Feb 13: New Delhi: Moving forward on a united anti-BJP front for the Lok Sabha elections, top opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee Wednesday agreed to work together to prepare a common minimum programme to oust the Modi government and to consider forging a pre-poll alliance.

Feb 14: Srinagar: At least 37 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district, officials said.

Feb 16: Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik Saturday directed the state police to take 'strict action without mercy' against those indulging in violence in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in Pulwama in which 40 CRPF personnel died, an official said.

Feb 17: New Delhi: The 'jobless growth' has slipped into 'job-loss growth', which, together with rural indebtedness and urban chaos, has made the growing number of aspirational youths restless, former prime minister Manmohan Singh said Sunday, as he hit out at the government for failing to uplift the economy to its potential.

Feb 18: New Delhi: BJP's association with the Shiv Sena goes beyond politics and is bound by a desire to see a strong India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday after the two parties agreed to contest the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections together.

Feb 20: New Delhi: The Saudi Arabia-Pakistan joint statement calling for avoiding 'politicisation' of the UN listing regime was not directed at India's efforts to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the global body, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said Wednesday, asserting that anyone involved in terror should be proscribed and punished.

Feb 21: New Delhi: India has decided to 'stop' the flow of its share of water to Pakistan from rivers under the Indus Water Treaty, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said Thursday, in comments that came over a week after the ghastly Pulwama terror attack killing 40 CRPF personnel.

Feb 24: New Delhi: The nation will get a new eternal flame on Monday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the National War Memorial, but Amar Jawan Jyoti will continue as it is an 'inseparable' part of the country's history, defence officials said Sunday.

Feb 26: New Delhi: In a pinpointed and swift air strike that lasted less than two minutes, India pounded Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp in Pakistan early Tuesday, killing up to 350 terrorists and trainers who were moved there for their protection after the Pulwama attack, officials said.

Feb 28: New Delhi: Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman downed a F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan Air Force by firing an R-73 air-to-air missile before his MiG-21 Bison was hit during a fierce dogfight on Wednesday, official sources said Thursday. PTI MAH TRS TRS