Chandigarh: The Jats stir for quota in jobs, Congress' severe drubbing in the Hisar by-election, unrest in Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant and controversy surrounding land allotment to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust marked the year 2011 for Haryana.

An unlikely win in an assembly by-poll in Ratia this month gave the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government some breather.

The year saw Haryana lose one of its veteran leaders when former chief minister Bhajan Lal, who along with his son Kuldeep Bishnoi floated the Haryana Janhit Congress (BL), passed away inJune. Another veteran Congressman Chiranji Lal Sharma, a four-time MP, also died.

Bishnoi later won the Hisar seat and also weaved an alliance with the BJP. In December, his wife Renuka won the Adampur Assembly bypoll, the seat which he had vacated following his win from Hisar parliamentary constituency.

Acting on Bishnoi's disqualification petitions under the anti-defection law against five of his party MLAs who had joined the Congress after the 2009 Assembly polls, the Punjab and Haryana High Court in December declared them as "unattached members" of the House.

In October, a Delhi court awarded life sentence to three persons for their role in the April 2010 killings of a 70-- year-old Dalit and his physically-challenged daughter at Haryana's Mirchpur village in Hisar.
March saw the Jats demanding reservation in government jobs under OBC quota and their three-week-long stir paralysed rail and road traffic in many parts. The government heaved a sigh of relief after the Jats withdrew their stir following talks with Hooda.

In good news for the state, infamous for its adverse sex ratio, Census data revealed that the overall sex ratio increased from 861 in 2001 to 877 in 2011, the highest since 1901.

June saw the beginning of long spate of strikes at Maruti's Manesar plant which finally came to an end in October, with workers demanding recognition of a new union.

Haryana Transport Minister O P Jain and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Zile Ram had to resign in June as their names cropped up in the murder of a former village head in Karnal.

A charge sheet was also filed in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case that left 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, dead. National Investigation Agency charged Swami Aseemanand and four others with triggering explosions in the train.

The Haryana government put on hold the land acquisitions in the state, except in case of essential infrastructure projects, keeping in view of the likely introduction of the Land Acquisition Bill in Parliament.

Finance Minister Ajay Singh Yadav and Union minister Selja expressing concern over acquiring of chunks of "fertile" land in their respective constituencies for projects caused embarrassment to the government.

A group of farmers in Fatehabad district also launched an agitation to protest their land being acquired for setting up of a nuclear power plant.

In July, the Opposition stepped up attack on the government for acquiring land in Gurgaon including alleged arbitrary release of land to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust after which nearly 70 petitioners moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

However, by mid-August many of the petitioners that included renowned painter Anjolie Ela Menon decided to withdraw their pleas and appear before the high-powered committee that was formed to reconsider the claims of those who had challenged acquisition of over 850 acres of land.

Former high court judge Nirmal Yadav appeared for the first time before the special CBI court at Chandigarh in connection with the cash-at-judge's door scam of 2008 and the court granted her bail after she furnished a bail bond.

The State Assembly passed the Haryana Ceiling on Land Holdings (Amendment) Bills, 2011, necessitated to remove uncertainty about issue which arose about the effect of ceiling laws on urban, industrial and other infrastructure projects set up in the state.

Work on the ambitious Kundli-Palwal-Manesar six lane project being developed on PPP mode was slow despite several extensions, forcing the state government to take penal action against Concessionaire of the project.

The Panipat-Ambala-Jalandhar highway's six lane work also lost steam because of the dispute of the company with sub-contractors over payment, even as road users had to shell out toll applicable for six lanes.

Main Opposition INLD led by former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala kept up the attack on the state government on various fronts including land policy favouring realtors more than farmers, on alleged deteriorating law and order front and water and power woes faced by the people.

The biggest ever social campaign "Shiksha Ka Haq" (Right to Education) was launched by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Chief Minister Hooda at Nuh in Mewat in November.

In June, a national initiative that allows pregnant women to undergo delivery free of cost in government health institutions was launched by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

The education department decided to set Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas in 27 educationally backward blocks of the state.

From this year, online registration facility began for job seekers as a result of which they would not have to go to employment exchanges for getting their names registered.

Hooda announced formulation of new schemes for urban and rural development under Rajiv Gandhi Urban Development Mission and Rs 2500 crore and Rs 5000 crore would be spent for urban and rural development respectively.

The government also constituted a Committee of Secretaries on Infrastructure under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to facilitate infrastructure development in the state under PPP mode.

Kaluana in Sirsa district figured among the best 11 panchayats in the country selected for their performance in the implementation of MGNREGA Scheme during 2009-10.

The ambitious 1,200 MW Rajiv Gandhi Thermal Power Project, Khedar achieved a major landmark when its 600 MW Unit-2 also started generation on commercial basis after successful completion of its trial operation.

(Agencies)