Nationally, the news that grabbed most headlines was the Congress’s loss in Karnataka despite which it formed the government once again in the state by promptly offering the chief minister’s post to a marginalised JD(S), which formed the coalition government after the BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa could not prove majority in the Assembly
New Delhi: Twenty-eighteen saw the nation's top political parties take each other on in the much-anticipated Assembly elections. From the Congress's loss in Karnataka, BJP's loss in the Hindi heartland, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death, to Section 377 being decriminalised and women being allowed into Sabarimala, let us take a look at the political slugfest that the past year was.
- In the annual event to mark the Dalit resistance to Peshwas in Bhima-Koregaon on the last day of December 2017, the organisers had invited known ‘breaking India’ forces like Umar Khalid, non Marathis like Jignesh Mevani and even clerics like Maulana Abdul Hamid Azhari. The inflammatory speeches by non-Dalit speakers at the event led to riots in the small towns near Pune. One person died in the riots. The issue grabbed headlines throughout January.
- A CBI court sentenced RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav to three-and-half-year jail term, convicting seven others in the fodder scam case in Bihar.
- In an unprecedented move, four senior-most judges of Supreme Court of India express public displeasure over the functioning of Chief Justice Dipak Misra. The Opposition tried unsuccessfully to make it political by trying to bring a motion to impeach the CJI to Parliament.
- The biggest election news of the year that is about to end came from Tripura in February where the incumbent Left Front government was defeated after 25 years of office by the alliance of the BJP and IPFT.
- Nationally, the news that grabbed most headlines was the Congress’s loss in Karnataka despite which it formed the government once again in the state by promptly offering the chief minister’s post to a marginalised JD(S), which formed the coalition government after the BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa could not prove majority in the Assembly.
- In a major setback to the BJP, it lost the Assembly elections of Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
- The K Chandrasekhar Rao-led TRS retained Telangana.
- The Mizo National Front defeated the Congress in the Mizoram Assembly election.
- Among the other state elections, the Congress lost Meghalaya and Mizoram. An alliance led by the NDPP won Nagaland.
- In the Lok Sabha by-elections, the Congress won Alwar and Ajmer. The Trinamool Congress won Uluberia; the Samajwadi Party won Gorakhpur and Phulpur; the RJD wrested Araria. The RLD won Kairana; the NCP won Bhandara-Gondiya; the BJP won Palghar and the NDPP won Nagaland.
- Among the deaths of politicians in 2018, Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died at the age of 93. He was the first Indian prime minister who was not a member of the Indian National Congress party to have served a full five-year term in office. M Karunanidhi, who dominated Tamil Nadu’s politics for six decades along with arch-rivals MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, died. He had served as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for five separate terms. The other politicians who passed away were former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, former Delhi chief minister Madan Lal Khurana, Union minister and BJP leader Ananth Kumar and veteran CPI (M) leader Nirupam Sen.
- April saw an unseemly politics over an incident of rape and murder of an eight-year-old child in Kathua of Jammu in January. Those who wished to defame India and Hindus brazenly named the victim, violating the law of the land, to make the point that this country with a majority of the population of Hindus is unsafe for Muslims, including their children.
- In June, the BJP suddenly pulled out of the ruling combine with the PDP, bringing down the 27-month-old Mehbooba Mufti government amid increasing instances of violence in the state.
- The Modi government decided to let the Supreme Court take a decision on Section 377 that denied homosexuals equal rights as citizens. Subsequently, the apex court revoked the law.
- While the Supreme Court allowed the entry of women in Sabarimala, the Sangh Parivar changed its stand from supporting the verdict to upholding the tradition of the devotees of Lord Ayyappa. In an unprecedented development, the issue galvanised the Hindu community across the country against state intervention in their places of worship.
- The Congress made Rafale deal an issue throughout the year despite the Narendra Modi government and officers of the Indian Air Force responding to all its ‘doubts’ comprehensively and rubbishing all allegations by Rahul Gandhi.
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Last Updated 2, Jan 2019, 6:20 PM