BJP-Shiv Sena turf war in Maharashtra
Visits by bigwigs including Prime Minister Narendra Modi to NCP chief Sharad Pawar's home turf Baramati also made news.
The Devendra Fadnavis-led government, which completed a year in office on October 31, has been beset with internal squabbles with the Shiv Sena, which joined the ministry in December last year.
The aftermath of bitterly fought KDMC polls
The rift within the ruling alliance was on public display ahead of the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation elections. Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray then threatened to withdraw support to the government if the BJP does not shed its 'arrogance'.
Fadnavis, in turn, told the Sena not to undermine the BJP and declared that his party was not 'wearing bangles'.
Putting behind the rancour of the bitterly-fought election, Shiv Sena and BJP later decided to share power in the civic body following a hung verdict.
In October, amid the widening rift between the ruling allies, the Shiv Sena stayed away from PM Modi's functions in Mumbai including the 'bhoomipujan' for the international memorial for Babasaheb Ambedkar and the ground-breaking for two Metro railway lines.
Thackeray, cold-shouldered by the BJP for the functions —his name was missing from the initial official list of dignitaries attending the event — chose to visit Beed in drought-affected Marathwada, where the party disbursed aid to distressed farmers.
When Pawar hosted Arun Jaitley in Maharashtra
In February, Pawar invited Modi to Baramati in western Maharashtra, fuelling speculation in political circles and followed it up eight months later by hosting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at his home.
While PM Modi had attacked Pawar during Maharashtra elections last year and called the NCP the 'Naturally Corrupt Party', the February visit sparked off a new bonhomie where the Prime Minister sang a different tune. Calling Pawar an experienced leader, he said, "I speak to Sharad Pawar more than two times a month. Sharad Pawar has always thought of farmers plight."
The expansion of Fadnavis Cabinet
The bickering among the ruling alliance partners apparently delayed the expansion of the state cabinet, with the tussle between BJP-Shiv Sena combine mainly stemming from the Shiv Sena's demand for cabinet berths.
When Shiv Sena joined the government, the strength of the Fadnavis ministry increased from 10 to 30. At present, there are 20 ministers from BJP and 10 from Shiv Sena.
The acrimony between Shiv Sena and BJP continued as the Winter Session of the state legislature began at Nagpur on December 7, when the Shiv Sena staged vociferous protests against Advocate General Shrihari Aney over his remarks on the issue of separate statehood to Vidarbha, and sought his suspension.
When a row of scams and irregularities erupted in the state
Women and Child Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde was in June accused of involvement in a scam related to the award of contracts worth Rs 206 crore for purchasing items for state-run schools.
Later, Education Minister Vinod Tawde was accused of irregularities in awarding contracts, with authorities seeking a probe into allegations that his department finalised a Rs 191-crore contract without mandatory e-tendering.
The Opposition also accused Tawde of having a fake engineering degree. Raising the issues in state legislature, Opposition demanded the resignation of Pankaja and Tawde.
Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil also faced allegations by the Opposition that he had under-reported property details in an election affidavit.
When Memon was hanged and Pansare murdered
Memon, convicted as 'a driving spirit' for the 1993 blasts in Mumbai, was hanged on July 30 at Nagpur Central Jail. Police ensured that there was no law and order issue during his burial in Mumbai the same day.
Rationalist Govind Pansare was killed in February. Seven months later, police nabbed a full-time volunteer of the right wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha in the murder case.
Curtains down on dance bars
A decade after Patil shut down dance bars, his daughter Smita has decided to carry forward the mission of her late father, after the Supreme Court last month ordered the Maharashtra government to start issuing licences for re-opening of dance
bars within two weeks.
Fadnavis had said that though the government respects the Supreme Court order, it was principally against reopening the dance bars and assured all legal options will be examined.
BJP-Shiv Sena turf war in Maharashtra