The second consecutive term of Parkash Singh Badal led SAD-BJP alliance government witnessed souring of relations between the two "oldest" allies, which had an adverse impact on governance in the otherwise vibrant Punjab.

After Narendra Modi's charisma brought BJP at the Centre and in neighbouring Haryana as well, saffron party leaders in Punjab, who have always complained of being sidelined by the Akalis, started asserting their presence in the state.

Upping its ante after the Modi wave turned the tide in BJP's favour, the RSS started spreading its wings in rural areas of the state considered to be the bastions of Akalis.

The year saw several incidents which led to friction between the two allies SAD and BJP.

In June, senior BJP leader Balramji Dass Tandon, now a governor, had questioned Badal's decision to meet Prime Minister Modi without any saffron party leader over the issue of Punjabis stuck in Iraq.

Even as BJP leaders felt sidelined, Badal maintained that as head of the state, the chief minister can meet the Prime Minister and Union Minister anytime as the sole motive of these meetings is to ensure welfare and development of the state.

With the issue yet to die down, another incident followed where SAD strongly opposed BJP MLA Anil Joshi, who is also a cabinet minister, for politicising the matter of Punjab government deciding on rollback of advance tax on stock and issue of fee on Change of Land Use (CLU) in the state.

Prior to this, Akalis had attacked BJP MLA and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Navjot Kaur, wife of former MP Navjot Singh, for demanding SAD minister Bikram Singh Majithia's resignation over BJP candidate and now Union minister Arun Jaitley's defeat in Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar seat at the hands of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Jaitley was BJP's choice for Amritsar Parliamentary seat after top SAD leadership assured it was the "safest seat" for the saffron party candidate as it was held thrice in succession by Navjot Singh Sidhu. However, Sidhu's replacement by Jaitley turned counter productive for the BJP which lost.

SAD-BJP ties hit another low when two senior ministers traded barbs over the denial of special assistance package to the state by the Narendra Modi government.

After Modi became the Prime Minister, the BJP leaders started criticising the Punjab government on various issues, including imposition of property tax, poor availability of sand and gravel and high VAT as all these issues were related to urban voters, a vote bank of the saffron party.

The difference between the two allies further widened when Sidhu, during canvassing for assembly polls in Haryana, sharply attacked the Badal family.

Much to the dismay of BJP, the SAD top leadership preferred to campaign for jailed leader Om Parkash Chautala's Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana which contested the polls in alliance with SAD.

However, Badal's justified their backing Chautala's by claiming that they have "family ties" and the BJP high command is aware of the matter.

With the SAD performance not upto the mark in the Lok Sabha polls, certain BJP leaders in the state raised the voice for fighting the next assembly polls in 2017 alone.

Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur went a step ahead by seeking breaking of ties with the SAD ahead of next assembly polls, claiming it was a "demand by grass root level party workers." She had to face bad blood by several Akalis for her remarks on the issue of alliance as SAD leaders accused her of violating coalition dharma Sidhu's frontal attack on top Akali leadership in the run up to assembly polls in Haryana led to curtailment of his security provided by the Punjab government, but it was immediately restored after the former MP lashed out at Akalis.

Despite simmering differences between SAD and BJP, the main opposition Congress, which is out of power in the state for over seven years, failed to gain ground in the state due to severe infighting.

The beginning of the year saw differences surfacing in Congress over the newly constituted Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) with several leaders airing views against it despite AICC chairperson Sonia Gandhi announcing a jumbo size please-all list.

It became free for all in the party with leaders like Jagmeet Brar, Ripjeet Brar, Rana Gurmeet Singh, Jagmohan Sngh Kang and Vijay Sathi slamming state party chief Partap Singh Bajwa for adjusting his near and dear ones in PPCC. However, Bajwa said he tried to accommodate all groups in the newly constituted PPCC.

Congress move to field top guns, including Ambika Soni and CLP leader Sunil Kumar Jakhar in the Lok Sabha polls didn't click as the party ended up by winning only three out of total 13 seats it contested.

Sulking Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP) supremo Manpreet Singh Badal, who is estranged nephew of the Chief Minister, joined hands with the Congress to take on Akali challenge from prestigious Bathinda Lok Sabha seat.

However, Manpreet lost at the hands of his sister-in-law Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who is wife of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Harsimrat returned home victorious for her traditional bastion Bathinda for the second successive term and was rewarded by Modi by getting a cabinet berth.

With Lok Sabha polls giving four seats to SAD, two to BJP and three to Congress, AAP emerged as a force to reckon with in the state by winning four seats.

Bucking the Modi wave, AAP registered an impressive win even as its rivals SAD-BJP and Congress battled anti-incumbency. AAP's vote share was 24.5 per cent against ruling SAD's 26.3 per cent, Congress 33 per cent and BJP 8.7 per cent.

SAD's performance in the Lok Sabha polls was almost a repeat of the 2009 polls. It returned on Bathinda, Ferozepur, Khadoor Sahib seats but lost Faridkot and won Anandpur Sahib seat. BJP won two seats. It has won Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur, but lost the Amritsar seat.

Congress fared badly, winning only three seats. It had earlier held eight seats. Party big guns Bajwa, Jakhar, Ambika Soni and Preneet Kaur had to bite the dust.

However, days later AAP performed badly in the by-polls at Talwandi Sabo and Patiala seat which went into the kitty of SAD and Congress respectively.

With Congress fairing poorly, the clamour for Bajwa's removal as state party chief grew louder as Amarinder Singh, also sought the PPCC head's replacement supported by several party MLAs.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi too made an attempt to calm dissidence by reaching out to the leaders in the state.

High-profile Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia was in the news for his "blasphemous speech" in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls in support of Jaitley.

Taking note of the speech, the Sikh clergy gave him 'tankhah' (religious punishment) and he was directed to perform kitchen service in all the five Takhts (temporal seats), besides holding a prayer at Akal Takht, washing utensils and listening to gurbani.

Bikram also had to face the ire of Congress after his name cropped up in multi-crore drug racket in the state even though the minister categorically refuted any links with the trade.

In order to expand the party base, Bikram stepped down as Youth Akali Dal President and to make SAD's youth wing an all inclusive organisation significant number of Hindus were made office bearers.

Besides politics, Punjab police had its good and bad moments throughout the year.

Punjab Police succeeded in breaking several terror modules with the arrest of militants. Police arrested Khalistan Libertaion Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo and Khalistan Terrorist Force (KTF) terrorists Ramandeep Singh Goldy. Goldy was wanted in the killing of RSS leader Rulda Singh in Patiala in 2009.

In October, Punjab Police courted controversy over killing of two brothers in Jamalpur village in Ludhiana.

A Ropar court in April ordered framing of charges against Punjab DGP S K Sharma and others in a 24-year-old kidnapping case.

In May, it was justice at last for 98 year-old Parkash Kaur (now dead), sister of martyr Bhagat Singh as nearly 25 years after her son-in-law's brother was killed by Punjab Police in Hoshiarpur, a court convicted three senior police officers by sentencing them to five years imprisonment.

Rahul Gandhi's comment in a TV interview early this year that "some Congressmen" were involved in the 1984 riots led Sikhs particularly Akalis to ask him to name these party leaders.

The Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC), considered mini Parliament of Sikhs, condemned Rahul's remarks while Akal Takht, the top temporal seat of Sikhs, sought apology from Rahul while Congress maintained that Akalis distorted Rahul's remarks.

Nurmahal-based Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan dera head Ashutosh Maharaj, who was declared clinically dead on January 29, was kept in a freezer by his followers who claimed that their guru is in "deep meditation". The matter has reached the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Punjab cabinet minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur was in the dock after his son was asked by Enforcement Directorate to appear before it in connection with a multi-crore drug racket case. He later resigned on "moral grounds."

Another minister Anil Joshi courted controversy after he and his family members were found enrolled as "dual voters" in Amritsar with Congress seeking his resignation.

Bloodshed and pro-Khalistan (separate Sikh homeland) sloganeering marked the 30th anniversary of operation Bluestar in June as SGPC taskforce clashed with SAD (Amritsar) workers.

Badal became a victim of shoegate when in August during a religious fair, a disgruntled youth hurled a shoe at him.

Punjab government increased prices of wheat and pulses distributed to 31 lakh poor families under its flagship 'Atta dal scheme'. Wheat under the scheme now cost Rs two per kg instead of Rs one per Kg, dal Rs 30 per Kg instead of Rs 20 per Kg.

Dalits in Punjab, constituting 32 per cent of population, were happy with the induction of Hoshiarpur MP Vijay Sampla in Modi's ministry.

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