Flashback 2015: IPL controversy, mining scam grabbed headlines in Rajasthan
Jaipur, Dec 23: The BJP government in Rajasthan remained on the edge during 2015 with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje facing allegations of impropriety and corruption and constantly being the target of Opposition Congress.
But Raje steered through as she tried to set the state on industrial resurgence mode by organising a summit that showcased the state, famous for its forts and palaces, as an investment destination.
Lodging of FIRs against state Congress chief Sachin Pilot and former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the 108 ambulance scam, busting of a corruption racket in mining department involving senior IAS officer Ashok Singhvi, death of former MLA Gurusharan Chhabra while demanding complete ban on liquor through a fast-unto-death were among other issues which hit headlines this year.
In the middle of the year, Raje was in line of fire after surfacing of a letter claiming that she endorsed former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi's immigration application to British authorities with a condition that her assistance should not become known to Indian authorities.
This came a few days after it was alleged that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj recommended to UK government to give travel document to Modi. Raje became the target of Opposition Congress who demanded her immediate resignation saying it was a case of impropriety.
However, despite issue creating a lot of furore inside and outside the state legislative assembly, Raje remained unfazed. She participated in road shows and meetings with top industrialists inviting them to the two-day investors summit 'Resurgent Rajasthan', which concluded in November with commitment of 3.21 lakh crore investment through 295 MoUs.
Top industrialists including Reliance group Chairman Anil Ambani, Adani group chief Gautam Adani and Anand Mahindra of the Mahindra Group participated in the global summit. Opposition Congress demanded the resignation of Raje alleging she helped Modi and also on the mines scam.
Besides, they also targeted Raje's son Dushyant Singh for alleged illegal financial transaction with Modi but the party backed her and made it clear that she will complete her five-year term.
Alleging a scam of Rs 45,000 crore in the allocation of mines in the state, Congress held responsible Raje for the illegal allocation of 653 mines and demanded a CBI inquiry.
Congress leveled the allegations after the Anti-Corruption Congress leveled the allegations after the Anti-Corruption Bureau unearthed the corruption racket in mining department by arresting Singhvi, who was the Principal Secretary (Mines) and six others.
The ACB caught the lower rank officials of the mining department in Udaipur with a bribe amount of Rs 2.5 crore which was to be delivered to Singhvi in Jaipur. Singhvi, now suspended, and others arrested are under judicial custody.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau also investigated a case related with purported land scam and questioned former UDH Minister Shanti Dhariwal. The ACB also summoned retired IAS officer and former Additional chief secretary UDH G S Sandhu, who is at large.
In civic bodies polls in August, BJP secured a clear mandate in many of the bodies but the results left both the saffron party as well as the Congress with some unexpected and unpleasant surprises too.
BJP faced defeat in Raje's home turf Jhalawar, which is also represented by her son Dushyant in the Lok Sabha, and in Dholpur. Ironically, Congress too lost Ajmer, the former constituency of Pilot, where he was expecting to gain ground.
On completion of two years in office on December 13, BJP chief Amit Shah hailed the works of the Raje government in the areas of skill development, digital India, power and agriculture sector.
The Raje government on the occasion of second anniversary launched various schemes including Bhamashah health insurance scheme. It came under criticism after former Janta Dal MLA Chhabra died after his month-long fast-unto-death which he had undertaken for demanding complete ban on liquor and strengthening of Lokpal.
Chhabra was admitted to SMS hospital where he continued the agitation and died. Few days after his death, his daughter-in-law sat on the dharna with the same demands but later withdrew after the assurance from the state government that it would look into the issue. BJP leader and MLA Ashok Parnami was elected as the party's state president for the second consecutive term.