2010: BJP gets it right in Bihar, wrong in Karnataka
After the shattering defeat in the general elections last year, the Bharatiya Janata Party appeared to have found its feet in 2010, putting behind internal bickerings and getting its act right in Parliament, but problems with its government in Karnataka stuck out like a sore thumb.
The party spearheading the Opposition campaign for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the 2G scam seemed to face uncomfortable questions raised over persisting with B S Yeddyurappa as chief minister in Karnataka despite a slew of allegations of irregularities against him and his Cabinet colleagues.
Image: BJP chief Nitin Gadkari
RSS faced charges of terror
The party started the year with new president Nitin Gadkari and achieved several highs, including victory in Bihar polls and success in cornering the United Progressive Alliance in Parliament on corruption.
However, not all was hunky dory for it faced challenges ranging from charges against some Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh members of involvement in terror activities, and the first saffron government in Karnataka led by Yeddyurappa facing charges of nepotism and out-of-turn land allotments, apart from problems on the Reddy brothers front.
Image: RSS members at a national camp
Advani overshadowed by Swaraj, Jaitley?
RSS-backed Gadkari took over as BJP chief in December, 2009 and he sought to take along all factions, which were at loggerheads with each other in their fight for supremacy and control of the organisation. The understanding between the RSS and BJP veteran L K Advani that he would mainly concentrate on the party's role in Parliament worked well for the principal Opposition.
Interestingly, Advani appeared to be overshadowed occasionally by his able lieutenants Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, who were vocal in leading the party charge as Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively. However, Advani seemed to have got a new lease of life politically when the Ayodhya verdict came on September 30.
Image: L K Advani
Advani hails Ayodhya verdict
He welcomed the Allahabad high court judgement declaring trifurcation of the disputed land and claimed it 'vindicated' his 1990 rath yatra for the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya.
This year, the BJP's main achievements were in Parliament where it successfully took on the Congress-led UPA government first on the issue of price rise and then on corruption in Commonwealth Games projects, the Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai and the Rs 1.76 lakh crore scam in 2G spectrum allocation.
Image: Security personnel deployed at Ayodhya before the verdict
BJP teams up with Left Front
On price rise and corruption, the National Democratic Alliance even managed to have issue-based understanding with other Opposition parties, including the Left. The Opposition parties held a countrywide bandh on July 5 against the hike in prices of petrol, diesel and other essential commodities, including food grain. In Parliament, the JP emphasised on corruption in Commonwealth Games and moved on to the 2G spectrum scam in the winter session.
While NDA and other Opposition parties said nothing less than a JPC probe into the scam will do, the government stood firmly against it. The result was a complete washout of the month-long session. Incidentally, BJP's demand for a JPC probe was somewhat dented by its own leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who as chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee appeared to be 'pro-active' in pursuing the 2G spectrum scam probe.
Image: The Bharat bandh called by the Opposition was a success
Spectacular win in Bihar polls
This gave a handle to the Congress to say the PAC, along with multi-disciplinary investigation agencies, was competent enough to probe the scam. The NDA has now taken the issue to the streets through rallies in different state capitals against corruption and plans to keep the issue alive till the budget session of Parliament which begins in the last week of February.
BJP's long time NDA ally, Janata Dal United, helped it register a spectacular win in Bihar polls. Despite strains between the two parties over seat-sharing and keeping Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi out of the poll campaign, the alliance won 206 seats in the 243-member assembly.
Image: BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi
BJP teams up with JMM, again
The BJP increased its tally from 55 in the 2005 polls to 91 in this election. In Jharkhand, the BJP first toppled the government led by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren when he voted with the UPA government during an Opposition-sponsored cut-motion against price rise in the Lok Sabha.
However, soon thereafter, when Soren and his son Hemant offered to form a government led by BJP, the party could not resist. It was only after several negotiations and flip flops that a government headed by Arjun Munda was formed.
Image: A protest against price rise led by the BJP
The political mess in Karnataka
The Karnataka government was in the news for all the wrong reasons. First the Reddy brothers -- the mining magnates -- rebelled against Yeddyurappa and a few months later 11 party MLAs and 5 Independents went to Governor H R Bhardwaj and gave in writing that they are withdrawing support to him.
While Yeddyurappa won the controversial confidence vote by a whisker, he was in troubled waters again when charges of land allotment to his sons surfaced. Though the central leadership gave him a breather after long confabulations, party sources say he may have to go anytime after the Panchayat elections get over.
Image: B S Yeddyurappa
Jaswant returns to the BJP
The year also saw the return of Jaswant Singh to the party fold in August. Interestingly, Singh did not apologise for his pro-Jinnah remarks in his book, which had led to his expulsion. Advani welcomed Singh's return and said this came as a relief to him.
Soon after taking over, Gadkari had announced that he would like those leaders who had left the party to come back.
He is said to be keen on the return of firebrand Hindutva leader Uma Bharti to the party-fold and sources say her return is imminent. BJP is hopeful that Bharti, who will have to confine herself to Uttar Pradesh as part of the deal, will revive the party in the state.
Image: Jaswant Singh