Creating political enthusiasm across the nation, Narendra Modi embarked on a spirited campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, there were many other reasons as well that brought Modi in the limelight.

The shadow of the 2002 riots did not leave Modi as a protest petition was filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of Congress MP Eshan Jafri killed in that violence, against clean chit given to him by Supreme Court-appointed SIT for the riots and encounter investigations led to arrest of senior police officers.

The Modi government appointed a two-member commission after alleged snooping of a woman by state security agency came to light while the post of Lokayukta was filled after a decade, just ahead of next year's general elections.

Rape cases against controversial self-styled godman Asaram Bapu and his son Narayan Sai by two Surat-based sisters and their subsequent arrests also grabbed the headlines along with an attempt to break the Sabarmati Jail by 2008 Ahmedabad blast accused by digging a 214 feet long tunnel.

After his third consecutive victory in Gujarat in December 2012 state elections, Modi's focus was on the country's biggest job but the path seemed difficult as he had to get acceptances from his party, from the coalition --National Democratic Alliance-- and finally from the people.

Making smart moves and with the backing of RSS and party Chief Rajnath Singh, Modi managed to overcome his opponents within BJP.

Modi was first incorporated as a member of the BJP's parliamentary board in March. He was elevated as campaign committee chief in June, the development which led to resignation by LK Advani from all party posts and breaking away of JD (U) from NDA. Advani later withdrew the resignation.

On September 13, BJP's parliamentary board declared Modi as a prime ministerial candidate of NDA amid opposition by Advani. However, Advani later reconciled to that fact and had even time and again praised Modi.

Modi's elevation has aroused much enthusiasm about politics among the supporters who are hoping that this dream would be fulfilled.

Modi, who has been running a spirited campaign for the 2014 polls for his party to get the approval of the people, had on two occasions during the year entered into a direct confrontation with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

A verbal duel broke out at an event when Singh and he shared stage here on October 29 for a function to inaugurate a museum on India's first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Fight over legacy of Patel ensued with Modi saying that "country's destiny would have been different if he (Patel) had become the first Prime Minister" while Singh stressed that the leader was "secular" to core.

Two days later, Modi laid the foundation stone for the tallest statue in the world of Patel at Sadhu Bet in Narmada district, to take the fight of legacy of Patel to new level in the run up to the 2014 elections.

In an another face off on August 15, Modi had launched a no holds barred attack on the prime minister just few minutes after he completed his speech from the Red Fort. Modi was criticized for playing politics on the nation's Independence Day.

Modi had to face major embarrassment when his lecture via video-conference at Wharton University was cancelled by the university authorities there in March. However, later he addressed Indian Diaspora in the US via video-conference.

Meanwhile, in a major development related to the 2002 riots case, Zakia filed her protest petition on April 15 against the apex court appointed SIT report giving clean chit to Modi and 58 others.

Zakia, while demanding the rejection of the closure report, has also sought further investigation in her complaint of 2006, not by Supreme Court appointed SIT but by an independent agency. The hearing of case is over and the court is likely to pronounce judgement on December 26.

Investigation in encounter cases led to arrest of senior policemen in the state.

In the encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others, the CBI filed charge sheet on July 3 terming the encounter fake and saying it was a joint operation between Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau (IB).

Earlier, in August ADGP PP Pandey was arrested by CBI in the Ishrat encounter case. Prior to that IPS officer GL Singhal and five other policemen were arrested. Singhal and others procured bail as CBI failed to file charge sheet in stipulated 90 days.

The chargesheet filed by the CBI in the Ishrat case mentioned that Singhal had submitted pen drives of recorded conversations with then minister of state for home Amit Shah and one about a meeting held in the office of state attorney general in which some ministers were present to allegedly derail encounter investigations.

The CBI had later questioned Shah, another former minister Prafful Patel, present Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja and advocate general Kamal Trivedi regarding the recorded conversations submitted by Singhal, before they are to file second charge sheets in the case.

The investigative agency also probed other encounter cases like that of Sadik Jamal. In the meantime, suspended IPS officer DG Vanzara, who is behind bars in series of encounter cases, resigned from service on September 3 alleging that the Modi government has failed to protect jailed police officers' interest who had followed "conscious policy of the state government".

Modi government's functioning was also questioned when recorded conversations between Shah and Singhal released by web portal Cobrapost and Gulail in November claimed that a young woman was snooped by the security agencies of the state at the behest of Shah.

Father of the girl maintained that he had requested Modi to ensure protection of his daughter.

Amid the demand of CBI inquiry by opposition Congress and NGO's, Gujarat government on November 25 formed a two member commission of inquiry. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has also indicated that they might inquire the incident.

On December 11, post of Lokayukta which was lying vacant for about a decade and had caused a bitter rift between Modi and Governor Kamla Beniwal for three years, was filled when Justice Retd DP Buch took oath.

Security establishment of the state was saved of a major embarrassment when a jail break plan of 2008 city serial blast terror accused was foiled in February after Sabarmati central jail authorities stumbled upon a 214 feet long tunnel dug by them. Had the jail authorities failed, around 50 terror case accused would have made their escape.

There was also a flip-flop by the Gujarat government during the year on giving permission seeking enhancement of sentence in appeal before the Gujarat High Court for 2002 Naroda Patiya case convicts - former minister Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi.

After giving permission in April, the government backtracked when there were protests from right wing groups.

The high court in February, in a majority verdict, upheld the constitutional validity of Centre's pre-matric minority scholarship scheme rejecting Modi government's plea that it was discriminatory and directed its implementation in Gujarat.

In June, a local court in Porbandar convicted senior minister Babu Bokharia and sentenced him and three others for three years imprisonment in a case of illegal mining of limestone. However, when he challenged that in higher court, the sentence was stayed.

Junagadh BJP MP Dinu Bogha Solanki was arrested by CBI in the murder case of RTI activists Amit Jethwa on November 5 in Delhi after he was asked to appear before them for questioning.

The BJP continued its good performance in by-polls held during the year. In the by-polls held in June, BJP swept all six seats- two Lok Sabha and four Assembly seats which were previously held by the Congress. The by-election to one seat held on December 5 was also won by the BJP.



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