2013 saw BJP inflicting crushing defeat on Congress in Rajasthan
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 26, 2013, 11:20
  
Jaipur: The rout of Congress in the Assembly elections, arrests of Asaram Bapu and former minister Babulal Nagar and 30 days imprisonment to a police woman for breach of privilege were some of the issues which kept Rajasthan in the news in 2013.

Vasundhara Raje led BJP to an unprecedented victory in the polls winning 163 of the seats in the 200-member House. She was sworn in as the chief minister for the second time.

Her 'Suraj Sankalp Yatra' prevailed upon the Sandesh Yatra undertaken by former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, in which he tried to promote his flagship schemes like free medicines and diagnosis at all government run hospitals but in vain.

The year began with Congress hosting its Chintan Shivir in Jaipur where Rahul Gandhi was appointed as vice-president and formally elevated to the number two position in the party. But as the year came to a close the party had little to cheer.

Self-styled spiritual leader Asaram Bapu's arrest by Rajasthan Police from Indore and court proceedings against him in Jodhpur made news in the later half of the year.

Ahead of the Assembly polls, the Gehlot government faced embarrassment when the then minister for Khadi and Dairy, Babulal Nagar was arrested by CBI on charges of raping a 35- year-old woman after promising her a government job.

In an unusual development, woman police officer Ratna Gupta was sentenced to 30-day imprisonment by Rajasthan Legislative Assembly on charges of insulting the chairman and members of a House panel when they visited a women's police station on July 19, 2010 of which she was the station house officer and ignoring repeated summons.

However, she has not been arrested as the case is being dealt in the Supreme Court and other local courts.

There was controversy again at the Jaipur Literature Festival at the beginning of the year when sociologist and author Ashis Nandy in a panel discussion allegedly said that people belonging to OBCs and SCs/STs were more corrupt.

A complaint was filed against him but he got a breather from the Supreme Court which stayed his arrest.

During the year, IAF carried out its first ever day-night full combat and fire demonstration named 'Iron Fist' in Pokhran.

Before the elections, the Gehlot government gave five per cent reservation to Gujjars under the Special Backward Classes (SBC) category without tampering with the quota for any other caste. It also announced setting up of the Economic Backward Classes Commission to pacify upper castes who have been demanding 14 per cent reservation.

The Rajasthan High Court stayed the decision for giving 4 per cent additional reservation to Gujjars and four other communities as it was more than the Supreme Court's stipulated 50 per cent limit.

On economic front, the state showed revenue surplus and the distribution of taxes from the central government's share increased substantially in the last couple of years.

In another infrastructure development, Jaipur Metro Rail's trial run was flagged off by Gehlot on a track of 2.4 km just before the announcement of model code of conduct.

But these failed to win voters' confidence.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stones of HPCL's oil refinery and a petrochemical complex to be built at a cost of Rs 37,230 crore for setting up nine million tonnes of unit at Pachpadara, 50 km from Jodhpur. There was some controversy over the location of the refinery with Rajasthan Minister Hemaram Choudhary quitting only to withdraw his resignation later. On demands of a residential project on subsidised rates, monthly allowances of Rs 2000 with less than five years of experience and allocation of Rs 10 crore to the Rajasthan Lawyers' Welfare Board, lawyers and police clashed leaving over 30 injured including 20 cops outside the Assembly.

As a result, judicial services were crippled and Jaipur Police Commissioner and other cops were reshuffled when the high court intervened, and later the Gehlot government met their demands.

Bitti Mohanty, convicted in the sensational German tourist's rape case, was brought from Kannur to Jaipur by Kerala Police which handed over to him the jail authorities where from he jumped parole in 2006.

Union Minister for Labour and Employment Sis Ram Ola, who hailed from the state, died at the age of 86.

In March, former Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf visited Ajmer dargah to pay obeisance to Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, December 26, 2013, 11:20


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