Dec 302015

political stories

The Dadri lynching was the most discussed topic in the socio-political scenario of the country in 2015. The incident happened on the night of September 28, in Bisara village near Dadri, Uttar Pradesh (UP).

A mob attacked a Muslim family after rumors spread in the area about the family storing and consuming beef. The attackers killed 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi and seriously injured his son, 22-year-old Daanish.

The UP police filed a charge sheet against 15 people, including Vishal Rana, a local BJP leader, and his cousin Shivam, as the main conspirators in connection with the case.

A recent report by the UP Veterinary Department revealed that the meat over which Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched was not beef, but mutton.

The lynching turned into the intolerance debate and award wapsi protests. After the Dadri Lynching around 50 eminent writers, artists, 10 filmmakers and scientists returned their awards to mark their protest over the intolerance in the country.

Here are the other 4 top political stories in the country, in 2015:

Bihar Election

The Bihar state election was the most important political battle, and a true test for the BJP and the Narendra Modi government, after its resounding win in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The election was also viewed as a close fight between prime minister Narendra Modi against Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

However, as the days progressed, it was said to be a battle between a ‘bihari’ (insider) and ‘bahri’ (outsider). At last, the mandate was in total favour of Nitish Kumar.

The Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) comprising Janata Dal (U), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress swept the Bihar assembly elections with a majority of 178 seats out of 243, leaving the BJP-lead National Democratic Alliance with just 58 seats.

Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD topped the coalition tally with 80 seats, followed by the JD(U)’s 71 and the Congress’s 27.

BJP could secure only 53 seats whereas its allies in the NDA, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) won two seats, respectively. The NDA’s last minute alliance with Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha could secure only one seat.

The election was also a fight between so-called ‘secular’ and ‘communal’ forces and saw a bitter verbal battle between the two alliances on various topics such as intolerance, beef and caste.

The election result from India’s most populous state came as a setback for prime minister Narendra Modi, who led BJP’s campaign to wrest Bihar with 30 rallies, as well as party president Amit Shah, who camped in Bihar for weeks.

Nitish Kumar, who led the Grand Alliance to victory, became the chief minister of Bihar for the fifth time. Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav was designated as deputy chief minister, the youngest ever in the country at 26.

DDCA scam and CBI raid in Delhi Secretariat

The whole story of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA)’s alleged scams in the past was started anew after the Central Bureau of Investigation’s raid at the Delhi Secretariat on December 15.

Hours later, while reacting against the raid, the anti-corruption crusader and the chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, termed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a ‘coward’ and a ‘psychopath’. He shouted against the CBI raid at his office, allegedly in connection with a corruption case involving principal secretary Rajendra Kumar.

Kejriwal also targeted finance minister Arun Jaitley by saying that the CBI officials were searching for the files of DDCA, which allegedly has the name of Jaitley.

On December 17, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) called a press conference in Delhi and alleged massive corruption at the DDCA, when it was helmed by Jaitley.

They alleged that funds from the DDCA were siphoned off to people and companies favored by Jaitley, during his tenure.

Hours later, Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former Indian cricketer Kirti Azad targeted Jaitley via twitter. He made corruption allegations linked to the DDCA that Jaitley headed for 13 years, till 2013. Azad also joined with opposition parties in raising the matter in the Lok Sabha.

Azad was later suspended from the party for targeting Jaitley.

Jaitley and BJP have denied all allegations. Jaitley has also filed defamation suit against several top AAP leaders, including Kejriwal.

The impasse continues, and will likely head into 2016.

National Herald case

Subramanian Swamy’s private criminal complaint against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and the Congress party vice president Rahul Gandhi, in connection with the National Herald newspaper was a political setback for the Congress Party in 2015.

The mother-son duo of India’s erstwhile first political family had to appear in a court for getting bail to in the case.

Swamy filed a complaint on November 2012, alleged that both Sonia and Rahul have committed fraud and land grabbing worth Rs. 16 billion (US$240 million) by acquiring a publicly limited company called Associated Journals Limited (AJL) through their owned private company, Young Indian.

The complaint also claimed that, through this fraud, they had got the publication rights of the National Herald and Quami Awaz newspapers, with real estate properties in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

A court directed Sonia, Rahul and five others accused to appear before it on December 19.

Congress called it as a political vendetta and they even disrupted parliament activities.

However, as per the court’s direction, Sonia and Rahul appeared in the Patiala House courts complex in Delhi and got bail in the case.

The bail had been given on personal bonds of Rs. 50,000 each. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for February 20, 2016.

Modi’s Lahore visit

The Indian prime minister Narendra Modi visited his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday. Modi surprised the whole world with his dramatic visit to Lahore on Christmas, on his way back from Afghanistan, where he was on an official visit.

During his two-hour stay in the city, the Indian leader attended the wedding of a granddaughter of the Pakistan premier. The visit is considered to be a positive sign on future discussions on Indo-Pak relations.

The foreign secretaries of both the countries are likely to meet in Islamabad on January 15, 2016.

Meanwhile, political parties in India had mixed reactions over the visit. The Congress alleged that Modi was in Lahore to “promote private business interests (and) not India’s interest”.

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