Rahul, AAP, Manjhi, Mufti,...the hits and misses of February-2015
February, according to history, is derived from the Roman month 'Februarius', named after the Latin term 'februum', which means 'purification'. It is the shortest month of the year, but the month was no short of a 'happening' one, and the country witnessed some highs and lows in Indian politics.
The month started with Delhi avalanche, and ended in hugs and handshakes in Jammu and Kashmir. Here are some of the overriding events of the month of February, 2015.
AAP's golden run in Delhi assembly:
The month belonged to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Arvind Kejriwal. It was a fairy tale comeback for a party and leader who had been written off by everyone after the 49-day government in Delhi. The party which was bundled out in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, rose from its ashes to win 67 of 70 seats in the assembly election.
AAP's founder-leader Arvind Kejriwal regained Delhi's lost trust and gave a befitting reply to Congress, BJP, and its critics. Kejriwal became the chief minister of Delhi and the month also saw him fulfilling its party promise of slashing of electricity and water tariff.
After much political turbulence and dinner diplomacy in Bihar, and a week after he was forced to quit by his one-time mentor Nitish Kumar, Jitan Ram Manjhi resigned as Bihar chief minister and launched a new political front Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM).
Manjhi's new front is being seen as the first step to counter Nitish Kumar and his Janata Dal-United ahead of state elections to be held later this year.
Prabhu's maiden Railway Budget:
It was PM Narendra Modi's first full-fledged railway budget and even though it didn't announce any new trains, it got some overwhelming reactions for its passenger-friendly measures.
Modi's imprint was starkly apparent in budget with his vision of bringing governance to the people's fingertips, his pet programs like Swachh Bharat, Digital India, Make In India, Skill India, his focus on improving ease of doing business and even his penchant for promoting Yoga.
'Anti-poor' Union Budget:
Allthough the country anticipated a budget with big reforms measures, Finance MInister Arun Jaitley's first big budget didn't left any positive impression.
Everyone, except a few, including its allies, gave it a cold shoulder.
Opposition flayed for its lack of vision and alleged that it was "repayment" by the BJP government to the rich and the corporates. Opposition lambasted the budget saying it was only for big corporates and industries, and termed it as an anti-poor budget.
[Also Read: Union Budget 2015: Highlights]
After holding brainstorming sessions on various critical issues like Article 370 and AFSPA, BJP and PDP finally decided to form government in Jammu and Kashmir, ending 49 days of President's rule in the state.
PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed at the fag end of the month met PM Narendra Modi in Delhi to give a final seal to the historic deal between PDP and BJP to form a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.
[Also Read: Mufti Mohammad Sayeed sworn in as J&K CM]
Rahul Gandhi's sabbatical:
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's untimely 'leave' was the much talked about event of February. The scion of beleaguered Congress Party, went missing from Delhi on a sabbatical to "reflect upon recent events and the future course of the party".
Rahul Gandhi's retreat came at a crucial time, for it was the first day of the budget session. Political commentators criticised Rahul for not attending the session, and to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi's overhaul of land acquisition laws.
Land Ordinance was one of the few issues that Rahul Gandhi gave his views in public.
[Also Read: Congress VP Rahul Gandhi goes on leave]
India beats Pakistan in WC:
Controversies apart, India Cricket team's amazing win over Pakistan in their first match of Cricket World Cup 2015 in Adelaide was the rejoicing time for the cricket loving nation. India's registered sixth straight World Cup win over their arch-rivals.
[Read also: India launch WC campaign with big win over Pakistan]