Flashback 2014: Modi's elevation as PM gave Gujarat its first woman CM

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Ahmedabad, Dec 20: 2014 was a watershed year for Gujarat as its most popular leader Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of the country leading BJP to a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha polls while the state got its first-ever woman Chief Minister in Anandiben Patel.

BJP won all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat. However, in a dampener, the party lost three Assembly seats out of nine to Congress which were previously held by their MLAs in the bypolls.

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The year also show Kamla Beniwal, who did not have a very cordial relationship with Modi, being first shunted out of Gujarat and later sacked as Governor of Mizoram.

The state got a speedy approval of gate installations on Sardar Sarovar Dam, a project pending for last 40 years, and had its first important foreign country head visitor when Chinese President Xi Jinping came to Ahmedabad.

The Sugnya Bhatt Commission formed by the previous Modi government, to probe illegal surveillance on a young woman was scrapped by the high court, while Nanavati Commission after 12 years completed its probe on the 2002 riots and submitted its final report to the state government.

After the Lok Sabha win, Modi handed over the baton of chief-ministership to 73-year-old Patel, whose selection did not come as a surprise as she was considered to be a close confidante.

Without Modi in the state, Opposition Congress has not been able to take any advantage as the state unit party is in marred by factionalism and lack of strong leader.

After the Lok Sabha elections it wanted to change state chief Arjun Modhvaida, but has failed to find a replacement. 

The Ahmedabad crime branch had on April 30 lodged an FIR in a controversy over Modi's violation of model code of conduct according to the directive of the Election Commission.

Modi had landed in a controversy when addressing a press conference after casting his vote, he showcased his party's symbol 'lotus'. However, on August 8, the city crime branch probing the alleged poll code breach by Modi gave a clean chit to him by filing a closure summary report before a local court.

A day after submitting its report, the Nanavati Commission said that there was no evidence to question Modi, virtually implying that if they could not find evidence to question him, then the report would not have anything adverse on him.

The report is likely to be tabled in the next session of the state Assembly. The exit of Beniwal came in the backdrop of the Governor appointing retired Justice R A Mehta as Lokayukta in Gujarat against which the state went in appeal to the high court and later the Supreme Court which upheld it.

She had also sat over many bills passed by the state government, including 50 per cent reservation for women. Gujarat also become the first state in the country, where voters will have to compulsorily exercise their franchise in local body polls, after new Governor O P Kohli cleared in November the Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill.

A month after taking over as Prime Minister, the Modi government gave its approval to Gujarat for raising the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada to 138.72 m from the current 121.92 m, a decision that will benefit scarcity prone regions of the state, and finish the project which is pending for the last 40 years.

Chinese President Xi signing three MoUs with the Gujarat government in presence of Modi.

PTI

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