The big political stories of 2019.
The big political stories of 2019.

The year that was in 5 big political stories

A quick snapshot of the stories that defined the year 2019.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2019 01:14 PM IST

As an eventful 2019 draws to a close, Hindustan Times looks back at five stories that tracked the big changes in India’s polity. They capture the essence of the protests that have been sparked off by the citizenship law and give our readers an insight into the mind of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

So here are some of the top stories that defined 2019, not necessarily in any particular order. There will be loads more to come in 2020.

PM Modi’s interview

PM Modi spoke about the three big achievements in his previous tenure. (PTI Photo)
PM Modi spoke about the three big achievements in his previous tenure. (PTI Photo)

2019 was an election year for India. A year which saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) catapulting to an even bigger margin of victory and nearly destroying the Opposition.

But what was going inside the mind of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then eyeing his second term? What did he think about his last tenure? And what are his view about some of the big decisions of his first tenure like demonetisation, implementation of GST etc? He spoke to Hindustan Times on the economy, opposition strategy and his party’s poll prospects. Click here to read the full interview

How Congress planned to restart the economy

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, 2018 (HT Photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, 2018 (HT Photo)

In the election year, Congress had upped the ante by targeting the government on economy. Rahul Gandhi, then Congress president, blamed his opponent and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ruining the economy. In an interview with Hindustan, a sister publication of the Hindustan Times, Gandhi said the NYAY scheme being proposed by his party will remonetise the Indian economy. Click here to read the full interview

Anger on streets

Police uses tear gas to disperse students protesting against the CAA, in New Delhi, on December 13. (AP Photo)
Police uses tear gas to disperse students protesting against the CAA, in New Delhi, on December 13. (AP Photo)

Delhi was singed by protests against the citizenship law, which was passed by Parliament in December, 2019. Many civil society groups, politicians and activists joined hands to urge the government to roll back the new law. But when they were met with stiff resistance from the authorities, the protests turned violent and public assets like buses and other vehicles were destroyed.

There was stone pelting and attacks on policemen. The Delhi Police fired at least 450 tear gas shells to quell protests in Jamia Nagar and Seelampur, admitting that it could be the largest quantity of the ordinarily non-lethal ammunition used in a comparable time span in recent history in the national capital. Click here to read the full story

Changing the contours of OBC quota

A government panel has suggested radical changes to the OBC quota in India for jobs and education. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
A government panel has suggested radical changes to the OBC quota in India for jobs and education. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

Reservation has been a sentimental issue in the country. Now when a government panel decided to recommend radical changes to how the 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) is implemented, the story became one of the most read in 2019.

Currently, all 2,633 OBC castes compete for the same 27% quota. The panel recommends breaking this up into three bands - those that have got no benefits should get 10%, those with some benefits 10%, and those with maximum benefits 7%. Click here to read the full story

Rumours, rage and excess in AMU campus

An injured student of the Aligarh Muslim University. (Burhaan Kinu/HT Photo)
An injured student of the Aligarh Muslim University. (Burhaan Kinu/HT Photo)

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was the earliest to support the students of Jamia Milia Islamia in Delhi during the protests against the citizenship law. Though the AMU agitation started peacefully, a phone call from a fellow student that two Jamia students were killed in police firing turned it into a violent one.

It turned out to be a rumour. But it seems to have been the trigger for what followed. Click here to read the full story

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