Raman Singh joined the elite club of BJP chief ministers who have scored hat-tricks in their respective states, leading his party to a historic victory. (Agencies)
He had several challenges like criticism from Opposition Congress after the killing of its senior leaders and anti-incumbency factor. But the Chhattisgarh Food Security Act, which he is credited of bringing in much before the National Food Security Act, is being dubbed as a game changer for 61-year-old Singh.
Distribution of rice at subsidized price to poor families seems to have done the trick for the 'Chaur wale baba' (rice man) who proved wrong all political analysis and opinion polls to emerge victorious.
On May 25 evening, heavily-armed Maoists ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in Jiram valley of Bastar district when they were returning after a public meeting in restive Sukma.
Nearly, 28 people including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudaliyar were killed and 37 others, including former Union minister VC Shukla, injured in the incident. Shukla died at a hospital in Gurgaon in June.
Union minister Charandas Mahant was made new PCC chief.
Early this year, the state was in the news with the incident of rape of minor tribal girls in a government-run residential school of Jhaliyamari village in Kanker district of north Bastar.
Initially sexual assault on nine minor inmates was revealed. Six more victims were later identified. The incident sparked outrage across the state and in view of this, the government directed an inspection of all residential schools and hostels.
In October, a fast track court awarded life imprisonment to a teacher, hostel watchman and hostel superintendent and five year sentences to two education department officials.
Rapes of minor students were also reported from tribal dominated Kondagaon and Jashpur regions.
Facing flak from all quarters, the state government passed the Penal Code (Chhattisgarh Amendment) Bill 2013 to check crime against women including teasing, assault by relatives, physical assault and vulgar SMS and MMS, in March.
In February, another incident caught police on the wrong foot when about eight armed criminals hijacked Gondia-Raigarh Jan Satabdi Express near Kumhari railway station of Durg district for one and half km to free history sheeter and kidnap accused Upendra Singh. Singh was later arrested in March from Jharkhand.
Former Indian women's hockey captain Saba Anjum, who has her roots in Chhattisgarh, was awarded the Arjuna award. The 28-year-old veteran striker was also declared as 'Icon' of Chhattisgarh under a programme of the state government for creating awareness among people about voting.
Another issue that rocked the state was allegations against Raman Singh and four cabinet ministers of receiving kickbacks in the seven-year-old Indira Priyadarshini Mahila Nagrik Sahkari Bank scam.
The election campaign saw high-profile poll visits by national leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, LK Advani, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also addressed a party workers' convention in Raipur during the second phase of the polls.
After a see-saw battle, BJP prevailed upon Congress winning 49 of the 90 seats in the state. Congress won 39 seats, one more than last time while one each seat went to BSP and an Independent.
Two journalists were killed by Naxals in Bastar region duirng the year.
The ruling BJP lost its two strongmen and MPs – Dilip Singh Judeo and Murarilal Singh who died following health problems. Both were popular for raising tribal issues of Chhattisgarh.
In the last two months of the year, state police claimed to have busted an alleged terror module here with the arrest of 16 suspected SIMI activists.
According to the police, Umer Siddhiqui (35), one of the arrested SIMI activists, had planned the July 7 blasts at Bodh Gaya temple complex in Bihar, and also planned to carry out attacks on Narendra Modi during his rallies in Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The police said that the absconding accused of Patna serial blasts Haider Ali alias Abdulla and others landed in Raipur from Rourkela after the incident. Siddhiqui and his associates put them up in a rented house in Sanjay Nagar area.
The year also brought relief to civil rights groups which were demanding release of tribal teacher Soni Sori, who was arrested two years ago for allegedly receiving money on behalf of Maoists from a corporate house in Chhattisgarh.
Sori was released from Jagdalpur jail of Bastar in November after Supreme Court granted her bail.
Raman Singh joined the elite club of BJP chief ministers who have scored hat-tricks in their respective states, leading his party to a historic victory.