Bengaluru, May 30: The month of May of the year 2016 was an absorbing one. It was an eventful one---in politics, foreign policy and sports.
While results of elections held in four states and one Union Territory were declared on May 19, the Narendra Modi government finished its two years in office on May 26. On May 29, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) won their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title, defeating favourites Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their own den.
In between, Prime Minister Modi signed a crucial pact on the strategically important Chabahar port in Iran, scoring a diplomatic high point against regional rivals like Pakistan and China.
The Congress lost two more states in the April-May elections while the BJP came to power in Assam for the first time and put up their best performance in states like West Bengal and Kerala.
The grand-old-party lost Kerala and Assam---the latter after a gap of 15 years and the BJP formed their government there. In West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, respectively, Mamata Banerjee and J Jayalalithaa beat the anti-incumbency to form their first second-successive governments.
While Banerjee did it after just five years, Jayalalithaa did it 25 years after she had first become the chief minister. In Kerala, the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front came back to power after five years while the BJP opened its account in that state for the first time. The Congress's only consolation was Puducherry where its alliance with the DMK came to power.
Modi government completes 2 years
The NDA government of Narendra Modi completed its second anniversary in office on May 26. It was on this date two years ago when Modi led the NDA won a massive victory while the Congress was reduced to just 44 MPs.
The two-year assessment of the Modi government has been more on the positive side but the striking fact is that Modi has continued to be popular among an overwhelming majority of Indians in the last 24 months. Clean image of the government and a pro-active foreign policy have been the high points of the Modi government although concerns have also been expressed over the NDA government's failure in pushing big economic reforms in this time.
IPL gets a new champion
The SRH led by Australia's David Warner became the latest IPL champions after they beat a dashing RCB led by Virat Kohli at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on May 29. After scoring 208 in 20 overs, the SRH tamed the RCB who were cruising at 114 for no loss at one time to win by just eight runs. Warner, with this win, became the third Australian captain after Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist to win an IPL time.
The RCB, on the other hand, became the first team to lose a final after scoring 200 and also failed to win even one of the three finals they have made so far. They had lost to the now-defunct Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings in the 2009 and 2011 editions, respectively. Kohli, who feel just 27 runs short of a historic 1000-run mark in one IPL, was chosen the player of the series.
India's pulls off Chabahar
After a long delay, India finally scored a diplomatic high point on May 23 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signed the Chabahar port pact. Bu signing this agreement, India gained a route to reach Afghanistan and central Asia bypassing Pakistan.
Congress loses 2 more states
The Congress failed to arrest its slide as it went on to lose two more states---Kerala and Assam in the April-May elections. Its only consolation in the five elections was Puducherry where it returned to power in alliance with the DMK. In Bengal, the Congress's unprecedented electoral tie-up with the Left could not succeed in toppling Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata & Jayalalithaa beat anti-incumbency
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and AIADMk supremo J Jayalalithaa beat the anti-incumbency against their respective governments in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, respectively, to return to power. While Banerjee's party did even better than the 2011 election, Jayalalithaa won with a reduced majority.
Narendra Modi govt completes two years
The NDA government of PM Narendra Modi completed two years on May 26. The report card of the government though saw a mixed response, but there was little slide in Modi's popularity in these 24 months. Clean image of the government and foreign policy have been two high points of the Modi government.
IPL gets a new champion in Sunrisers hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad won their maiden IPL title this year while David Warner became the third Australian to lead a side to win an IPL title after Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist. The SRH beat Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore by 8 runs in a high-scoring final at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on May 29.
India signs Chabahar port pact with Iran
PM Narendra Modi signed a crucial pact with Iran over developing its strategic Chabahar port. The signing of this pact meant India would get an access to Afghanistan and central Asia and beyond without touching Pakistan's territory.
India will invest $500 million to develop the port, seen by international experts as New Delhi's counter-strategy to the Chinese operation of the Gwadar port in Pakistan. Besides the port pact, a trilateral agreement on transport and transit corridor was also signed by India, Afghanistan and Iran, which PM Modi said could change the course of the region's history.