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Major Indian political developments in 2009
New Delhi, Jan 15 (Agencies):
Published on 16 Jan. 2010 12:15 AM IST
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Manmohan’s magic: Verdict 2009 was for stability, positivity and development. It rejected cynicism, negative campaigning and old approach to politics. This was all too evident as the Congress led-United Progressive Alliance (UPA) romped home with 262 seats- a full 45 seats more from the stunning result of 2004. As Manmohan Singh became the only Prime Minister to retain his seat for the second consecutive term, it was clear that the divisive politics of the Right and the outdated ideas of the Left were not in-tune with In... Rise of Rahul Gandhi: He turned down a cabinet post; he refused to admit that he is PM in waiting; he consciously stayed away from image slandering politics, wittily and smilingly accepting all barbs from opposition. He did not marry this year as well; but won hearts by tirelessly crisscrossing this great land and spending nights in sleepy villages and small towns, interacting with farmers and students. He has, in short, become the undisputed face of the Congress party in 2009. Whether Rahul was just his humble self or played... He turned down a cabinet post; he refused to admit that he is PM in waiting; he consciously stayed away from image slandering politics, wittily and smilingly accepting all barbs from opposition. Party with differences: While 2009 turned out to be a year, when people voted for stability, it was also a year when they didn’t really have any alternatives to choose from. And even after elections, the BJP-led Opposition at the Centre is in a mess. Before the elections, it couldn’t project any issue of consequence. Instead, its effete leadership made one man and his dream of being the PM its central agenda. What followed was a slugfest between LK Advani and Manmohan Singh- we eventually realized Dr Singh could speak sharp if required. Chidambaram Vs Terror: The year began with serious questions over India’s security and intelligence set-up, what with the horrendous attacks in Mumbai exposing chinks in our armour. As a fashion-conscious Shivraj Singh bowed out of the Home Ministry, the no-nonsense P Chidambram walked into complete mess, but hit the ground running, without minding the shoe that was hurled at him by an angry Sikh reporter. Nuclear sub-club: After 30 years of secrecy, this black beauty was released into the Bay of Bengal waters by PM Manmohan Singh in July this year. India joined the select group of five nations to have its own nuclear propelled and nuclear armed submarine called Arihant. Code-named Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV), the submarine is a project conceived in the 70s and initiated by Indira Gandhi in the 80s. Chinese checkers: 2009 will probably go down in history as a year where bilateral relations between India and China hit one of the worst patches since 1986. Gay pride right: Finally the state will not have any problem if a man wants to kiss a man. Putting an end to a long, humiliating and arduous battle for gay rights, the Delhi HC this year struck down the provision of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalised consensual sexual acts of adults in private, holding that it violated the fundamental right of life and liberty. Corruption on top: The year saw the unearthing of one of the biggest scams. Madhu Koda, Jharkhand’s ex-CM was accused of amassing assets worth Rs 4000 crores, nearly a fifth of the annual budget of Jharkhand! The scam also sucked in Bollywood beauties like Celina Jaitely and Koena Mitra who were approached by him to be the face of Jharkhand. Scary Swine Flu: If terror spared India in 2009, a pandemic created tumult. Swine Flu was the year’s largest scare. The country which returns to normalcy just a few hours after a militant attack remained paralyzed and traumatized due to the flu pandemic that spelled havoc in the months of August and September. Education Revamp: Kapil Sibal has proved to be a breath of fresh air after his ministry’s previous incumbents, who indulged in their own agendas, simply ignored the immense potential of India’s human resource. Racial Attacks against Indians: By the middle of this year, horror stories of Indians being targeted in Australia began appearing in the media. We saw a group of thugs assaulting an Indian in a metro and dismissed it as just another crime. Left alone: Once vanquished, one is always left alone to lick wounds. The Left front in India cut such a sorry picture for itself that its isolation has only grown, with cracks within making matters worse. India and the World: The emerging power that it is, India’s engagement with rest of the world is a matter of great attention. Here is a short summary of India’s ties with the world in 2009. YSR’s magic: The charismatic leadership of YS Rajasekhara Reddy worked wonders for the Congress party in Andhra Pradesh. Under the leadership of YSR, the party bravely faced a united opposition alliance and the glamour of megastar Chiranjeevi, who floated his Praja Rajyam Party to fulfill his political ambitions. ULFA chief’s arrest: The 2009 New Year began with a blast for Assam. A bomb blast. The serial explosions occurred just before Home Minister P Chidambaram visited the state and despite the tight security that was in place at the time. Guwahati was rocked by three explosions in 3 places which injured 20 people.

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