2012: Year of hectic political activity in Himachal
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Intense political activity in Himachal Pradesh culminated in the ouster of BJP and return of Congress to power in 2012 which also witnessed some dissidence in both the parties and some landmark judgements with wider political ramifications.
Both BJP and Congress grappled with dissidence and senior leaders vied for supremacy as the state remained in election mode almost throughout the year.
The unrest in BJP reached the climax with senior party leaders like Maheshwar Singh, Shyama Sharma, Mohinder Nath Sofat and Radha Raman Shashtri giving a severe jolt by resigning from the party and floating the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) which more or less contributed in BJP's defeat.
Health Minister Rajiv Bindal had to resign in the wake of allegations of corruption, state BJP chief Khimi Ram was replaced by Satpal Singh Satti due to pressure mounted by BJP vice president Shanta Kumar and J P Nadda resigned from Assembly following his election to Rajya Sabha.
The audio CD case continued to haunt Virbhadra Singh and he had to resign from the Union Cabinet, following framing of charges by a special court but he demonstrated his clout and mass support and Congress appointed him as state party president and also asked him to lead it in the polls.
Singh almost single-handedly brought Congress back to power and became chief minister for a record sixth time. He also got a reprieve with a special court acquitting him and his wife Pratibha Singh in the much hyped audio CD case.
The BJP suffered defeat in elections of mayor and deputy mayor of the prestigious Shimla Municipal Corporation as CPI-M won both these posts. However, BJP avenged the defeat winning Shimla Assembly seat and relegating CPI-M to third position.
The benami land deals figured prominently throughout the year and both BJP and Congress accused each other of flouting laws and allowing outsiders to purchase large chunks of land in the state.
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