January 2, 1978, Forty Years Ago
Carter, Desai meet
The Indo-US summit started a day ahead of schedule when President Carter and Prime Minister Morarji Desai met in the evening for 45 minutes without any previous arrangement. No aides were present. They are slated to have another meeting by themselves before the formal talks start between the two delegations. Sources close to the American delegation indicated that the discussions will cover the future of nuclear cooperation, arms limitation in the Indian Ocean and the renovation of the international economic system. The Carter-Desai meeting took place after Desai drove with the Carters to Rashtrapati Bhavan from the civic reception at Ramlila Grounds. On the steps leading to his suite, President Carter invited Desai in. “Please do come in. I want to meet you,” President Carter told Desai.
Bombay plane crash
An Air-India Boeing 747 jumbo jet, the “Emperor Ashoka”, bound for Dubai with 190 passengers and 23 crew aboard, exploded in the air and plunged into the sea off the Bombay coast shortly after takeoff on the night of January 1. Naval boats and helicopters, an Air Force helicopter, customs and fishing speedboats have been searching the area with the assistance of naval divers and rubber rafts for survivors, but have found no trace of any till midnight. The wreckage of the plane was located two miles off Bandra, a spokesman of Air India said. Five passengers, who were not originally booked on the ill-fated flight, were accommodated when many passengers on the original list did not turn up.
Left sweeps Tripura
While other parties are yet to open their account, the CPM-led Left Front went ahead steadily making a clean sweep of all the 25 seats, results of which were available till late evening. Of these, the CPM got 19, the RSP one, and Independents, backed by the Left Front, three.