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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightRound up - 2023:...

Round up - 2023: India's year that was

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Round up - 2023: Indias year that was
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The canvas of India in 2023 was painted with diverse hues, blending political dynamics, legislative milestones, electoral fervour, tragic incidents, and rare achievements. A round-up of the year would thus unfurl the tapestry of a year that left an indelible mark on the nation's history.

Political Landscape:

The political landscape witnessed a seismic shift with the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The enhanced capacity aimed at accommodating 888 seats in the Lok Sabha and 384 in the Rajya Sabha. However, this momentous event was overshadowed by the boycott of the inauguration by 20 Opposition parties, expressing protest at side-lining President Droupadi Murmu.

That apart, the parliamentary sessions themselves were tumultuous, marked by disruptions and limited discussions on crucial Bills. Notably, a Special Session in September convened without a pre-notified agenda, saw the passage of the women's reservation Bill, a landmark move allocating 33% of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies.

Controversial Bills, including the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Bill and three Bills for the overhaul of criminal laws, added to the parliamentary exercise. The Winter Session, which turned out to be a prelude to the upcoming general elections, reached unprecedented levels of chaos with the suspension of 141 MPs between both houses. But more relevant was its background of a security breach on December 13 of a few from the visitors' gallery jumping into the middle of the members. There was also the expulsion of outspoken Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra after a scant discussion about the charge that she accepted rewards for asking questions in the house.

State Elections:

Nine states went to polls, resulting in a change of government in five. The BJP secured victories in four states, while the Congress triumphed in two. Karnataka witnessed a significant political shift as the Congress ousted the BJP, marking its best electoral outcome in the year.

More in the news was five states going to polls in November, impacting the Congress's position ahead of seat-sharing talks with the INDIA bloc. While the BJP celebrated wins in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, the Congress faced setbacks but managed to unseat the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in Telangana.

The establishment of a panel headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind to explore simultaneous national and state elections reflected a key electoral development. The idea has been long advocated by the BJP-led Centre.

NDA vs. INDIA:

The formation of the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc, comprising 26 parties, aimed at creating a formidable Opposition against the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. However, a lack of full internal cohesion and deficient coordination within the bloc has so far hindered progress in seat-sharing negotiations, a must for the full effect of the alliance. The clash between the two blocs extended beyond politics, touching on issues like the India versus Bharat debate and remarks on 'Sanatan Dharma,' leading to ideological disagreements.

As the INDIA bloc is yet to put its pieces together, the NDA, seasoned by nine years of survival with power and led by the BJP, maintained its dominance with 323 LS MPs, 109 Rajya Sabha MPs, and significant legislative strength across states.

Electoral Dynamics and Caste Census:

Election-related developments included the introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill and the demand for a nationwide caste census. The government's lukewarm, if not hostile response to the idea of a caste census raised concerns about potential contesting demands and reignited dormant quota calls, challenging the BJP's delicate caste balancing act.

Rahul Gandhi's disqualification and subsequent reinstatement in the Lok Sabha, the no-confidence motion faced by the Modi government, and the INDIA bloc's pursuit of OBC votes added layers to the electoral matrix.

Manipur violence:

The ethnic violence in Manipur, between the Kukis and Meiteis, unfolded as a tragic saga. The conflict, rooted in the demand for tribal status by the Meiteis, resulted in 175 deaths, 1,118 injuries, and the displacement of 60,000 people. The violence, ongoing since May, also exposed the challenges faced by the state in maintaining peace and normalcy.

Judicial Milestones:

The Supreme Court played a pivotal role in influencing key developments, including the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and ratification of the decision-making process of demonetization of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes. Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud's leadership saw a record disposal of 52,191 cases, marking a significant achievement for the judiciary. The apex court also held that same-sex marriages and civil unions were unlawful.

Highlights from the Year:

The year featured several notable national events, including the G20 Summit in Delhi, where global leaders convened under India's presidency to address geopolitical challenges. India's successful Chandrayaan-3 moon mission marked a historic achievement in space exploration.

Tragedies, such as the collision of trains in Odisha in June, ethnic clashes in Manipur, and the Sikkim glacial lake burst in October, underscored the vulnerability to natural disasters. The year also witnessed the resilience of the nation in the face of adversity, exemplified by the successful rescue mission in Uttarakhand, where 41 workers were trapped.

Cultural and Sports domains:

The year began with Indian wrestlers raising sexual misconduct allegations against BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, leading to protests and demands for a thorough investigation. The move culminated in his quitting the post, but elections to the body at year-end still remain muddled in controversy because of Brij Bhishan's alleged proxies being made office-bearers. The allegedly political arrest of Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Rahul Gandhi's disqualification added layers to the political narrative.

India's performance in the ODI World Cup brought moments of heartbreak and disappointment, after a splendid performance of a record unbeaten climb to the final with 10 successive wins.

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TAGS:BJPNDAIndian governmentCongress PartyIndian Politics
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