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Infighting in Congress, political coup in Maharashtra, Nitish Kumar's new old alliance; here’s what kept India busy in 2022

Infighting in Congress, political coup in Maharashtra, Nitish Kumar's new-old alliance; here’s what kept India busy in 2022

Infighting in Congress, political coup in Maharashtra, Nitish Kumar's new-old alliance; here’s what kept India busy in 2022
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By CNBCTV18.com Dec 28, 2022 5:51:34 PM IST (Updated)

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The year 2022 was riddled with political tussles and rebellions which did not just have an impact on the political landscape of this year, but will also have a bearing in the coming year. From infighting between Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and Congress leader Sachin Pilot to the political coup in Maharashtra, politics in India was marked by major tussles some of which signalled a paradigm shift this year. As we bid adieu to 2022, here's a look at the major political tussles in India during the year.

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 Gehlot vs Pilot |   Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Congress leader Sachin Pilot have shared a volatile equation with both fighting for the post of chief minister for a long time. In the last four years of the Congress government in Rajasthan, the political tussle between the two has triggered crises in the state, with Pilot threatening to walk out of the Congress in 2020. The latest attack from Gehlot came last month when he called Pilot a “Gaddar” in an interview with NDTV. In reply, Pilot said he was "sad and hurt" at the Rajasthan chief minister’s words but tried to dismiss apprehensions over infighting in the party. The two flew together and attended the swearing-in ceremony of Sukvinder Singh Sukhu as Himachal Pradesh chief minister on December 11.

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Thackeray vs Shinde | In June, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde effected a coup in Shiv Sena that resulted in the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state and the dethroning of Uddhav Thackeray as the Chief Minister. Then, a senior Shiv Sena leader and MLA, Shinde disappeared with 25 other MLAs on June 21 and flew to Surat in the BJP-governed Gujarat. After urging Thackeray to snap ties with the NCP and Congress, on June 23, 38 MLAs declared Shinde the leader of the Shiv Sena legislature party. Shinde re-established the party’s alliance with BJP and took over the reins of Maharashtra as Chief Minister with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.

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Nitish vs BJP | In August, Nitish Kumar exited the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and joined hands with RJD following high-paced political developments in Patna. On August 9, Nitish Kumar called on the Bihar governor Phagu Chauhan twice – first to give his resignation as the chief minister of the NDA-led government and then to stake a claim as the leader of the RJD-led Grand Alliance and take oath as the Chief Minister once again.  The JD-U and BJP had fought the 2020 assembly polls together and even though the BJP won more seats, Nitish was made the chief minister. In December, he accused the BJP of conspiring to weaken his party.

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Kejriwal vs L-G | Political tussle between Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and the Lieutenant-Governor started soon after he took office for the second time in 2015. The power struggle continued with Najeeb Jung, Anil Baijal and finally Vinai Kumar Saxena who was appointed in May 2022. In June, the AAP government alleged that the regular meetings with the L-G and inspection of government facilities were interfering with the functioning of the government. Days later, Saxena approved an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) probe against the irregularities in the construction of seven temporary hospitals during COVID-19 by the Public Works Department. Saxena also called for a scrutiny of the revamped excise policy in Delhi by the CBI.

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Mamata Banerjee vs Jagdeep Dhankhar | West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and former Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had a tumultuous relationship for a long time. The Chief Minister had demanded his removal from the constitutional post, complaining about the difficulties of governance faced by the state government due to delays in file movements, challenging the authority of the CM on various matters. In August, Dhankhar took over as the 14th Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

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EPS vs OPS | In June, AIADMK senior party members mooted moving out of the “dual leadership” system and pushed for a strong unitary leader to strengthen the organisation. Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS), who was at the centre of the power struggle, staged a political coup against AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam (OPS) and ousted him from his post as the party coordinator and also from the party for ‘anti-party’ activities.

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Kerala government vs Governor | In Kerala, there have been frequent run-ins of the state secretariat with Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. Matters came to a head on December 13 when the Kerala Assembly passed the University Laws (Amendment) Bill that will replace the Governor as the Chancellor of universities in the state. The bill allows the appointment of eminent academicians to the top post. Apart from universities, Khan and the LDF government quibbled over various issues, including CAA and contentious farm laws. The Governor also took potshots at the state government, saying their only source of revenue was liquor and lottery.

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Mamata Banerjee vs nephew Abhishek | The differences between Trinamool Congress party supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee resulted in significant changes in the hierarchy. Abhishek had pushed for ‘one man, one post’ within the party at a time when several senior colleagues of the chief minister of West Bengal held more than one post. Mamata formed a 20-member national working committee which will function as a top decision-making body within the party. Abhishek was made part of the committee, thereby removing him from the post of powerful general secretary.

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Gadkari vs BJP | In a surprise move, Union minister Nitin Gadkari was dropped from the BJP's top decision-making body -- the Parliamentary Board – in August. Gadkari’s removal came as a shocker as the party had always kept its former presidents in the decision-making process. Days later, Gadkari, who is considered to be close to the party's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), seemed to have warned against indulging in “use and throw” in relationships.

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Baghel vs Singhdeo |  The Congress party faced serious internal differences in Chhattisgarh with the rift between state Health Minister T.S. Singhdeo and Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel widening this year. At the heart of the matter is the ‘power-sharing formula’ finalised at the time of the selection of the chief minister in the state in 2018. It was then decided that the post will be held by both in rotation for two and a half years each. However, the Congress party’s top leadership had neither confirmed nor denied the power-sharing formula. Soon after the deadline for the change lapsed in June, there were rumours of Congress MLAs in support of Singhdeo going to Delhi.

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Siddaramiah Vs D K Shivakumar | The Congress is also facing a conundrum in Karnataka with two leaders state president D K Shivakumar and Legislature Party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah engaged in a game of one-upmanship before the 2023 Assembly elections.

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