Year-Ender 2023: Major events that took political centre stage in India

The seesaw battle between the political parties kept everyone hooked to the developments all through the year till the fag end of the year culminating in an unprecedented incident where as many as 146 MPs were suspended from the Parliament.


The Naveen Patnaik-led BJD launched quite a few new schemes, including ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’ and LAccMI, to strengthen its base among the rural masses. The party started preparations for the 2024 Parliamentary and Assembly elections in Odisha by organising a 37-day long training camp for its workers. Opposition BJP and Congress too tried to corner the BJD in and outside the Assembly on various issues. The BJP and Congress leaders also met their respective central leadership in Delhi to chalk out strategies for the next year’s polls.

Health Minister Naba Das murder & Jharsuguda bypoll

In a sensational incident, Health Minister Naba Das was killed by a police Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) at Brajrajnagar in Jharsuguda district on January 29.

Accused Gopal Das opened fire at the Health Minister from a close range while the latter was coming out of his vehicle to participate in an event. The minister succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar.

Opposition parties—BJP and Congress—alleged a larger conspiracy in the murder and sought proper investigation into the case. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Odisha handed over the case to the Crime Branch.

Following the murder, Jharsuguda Assembly constituency, which was represented by the Health Minister, went for a by-election on May 10. The ruling BJD retained the Assembly set as its candidate Dipali Das, daughter of the deceased minister, defeated Tankadhar Tripathy of BJP by a margin of 48,721 votes.

Manmohan Samal appointed as Odisha BJP president

Former minister Manmohan Samal was appointed as the president of BJP, Odisha unit in March this year. Samal replaced Samir Mohanty as BJP president in Odisha. Samal had served BJP president in the state twice in the past. He had been elected to Odisha Assembly from Dhamnagar segment in 2004 and served as minister in the BJD-BJP coalition government in the state.

Reshuffle in Council of Ministers

BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik effected a reshuffle in his Council of Ministers by inducting three new ministers in May this year. Senior lawmakers Bikram Keshari Arukha, Sudam Marndi and Sarada Prasad Nayak were inducted into the Cabinet.

Arukha was given the charge of Finance department while Marndi got School and Mass Education department. Nayak was appointed as the Labour and Employees’ State Insurance Minister. Arukha was appointed as a minister following his resignation as Odisha Assembly Speaker. Prior to the reshuffle, School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Das and Labour Minister Srikanta Sahu resigned from their posts.

New Speaker and Deputy Speaker elected

Six-time BJD MLA Pramila Mallik was unanimously elected as the Speaker of Odisha Assembly in September this year. Mallik, a legislator from Binjharpur Assembly segment in Jajpur, succeeded Bhanjanagar MLA Bikram Arukha as the Odisha Assembly Speaker. Prior to her election as Speaker, Mallik had resigned from the post of Revenue Minister in the state.

Saluga Pradhan, a two-time MLA from G Udayagiri constituency in Kandhamal district was elected as the Deputy Speaker of Odisha Assembly in November this year. The post of the Deputy Speaker had fallen vacant following the resignation of incumbent Rajanikant Singh on November 8.

2 BJP MLAs suspended from Odisha Assembly

Two BJP MLAs were suspended from Odisha Assembly during this year’s Monsoon Session. Speaker Pramila Mallik suspended two BJP MLAs—Mohan Charan Majhi (Keonjhar) and Mukesh Mahaling (Loisingha)—from the Assembly for allegedly throwing dal (pulses) at her podium during the Monsoon Session in September.

The two MLAs reportedly threw dal at the Speaker’s podium after they were allegedly denied permission to speak in the House. Notably, Mallik had resigned as Women and Child Development Minister in the wake of allegations of Rs 700-crore scam in procurement of dal for mid-day meal scheme in Odisha in 2011.

2 former Speakers passed away

Two former ministers and Odisha Assembly Speakers passed away this year. Former Speaker and Digapahandi BJD MLA Surjya Narayan Patro (74) breathed his last on September 2 this year.

Patro had been elected to Odisha Assembly for seven times from various segments in Ganjam district during his three-decade long political career. He had also served as a minister for several times in the state.

Similarly, former Speaker and minister Maheswar Mohanty (67) passed away on November 7. Mohanty had been elected to Odisha Assembly from Puri constituency for five times. He had served as a minister under the BJD government in the state for several times. He held portfolios like Panchayati Raj, Revenue, Law and Tourism between 2011 and 2019.

Former Babus took plunge into politics  

At least three former Babus took political plunge in Odisha this year. Former Odisha Chief Secretary Bijay Patnaik joined Congress in February. He was subsequently appointed as party’s campaign committee chief in the state.

Patnaik, a 1976-batch IAS Officer, was the Chief Secretary of Odisha from 2010 to 2013.

Former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Sambit Tripathy joined BJP in November. Tripathy had worked as the private secretary to then Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. He took voluntary retirement from service in 2020.

Former IAS officer V Kartikeya Pandian joined the ruling BJD in the presence of party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on November 27. Pandian, a 2000-batch IAS officer, was working as the Private Secretary (5T) to Odisha Chief Minister, before taking voluntary retirement on October 23. Notably, his application for VRS was approved by Centre in a day’s time.

Winter Session of Odisha Assembly held for only 4 days

The Winter Session of Odisha Assembly was adjourned sine die on November 24, at least 26 business days ahead of its schedule.

The Winter Session of the Assembly commenced on November 21 and it was scheduled to conclude on December 30. Speaker Pramila Mallik adjourned the House sine die even though it had transacted business for only four days during the Winter Session.

The MLAs of Opposition BJP and Congress staged a walkout to protest against the decision. The ruling BJD justified the early adjournment by saying that there was no crucial business left for the House.


The BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi retained its dominance in the national politics by winning Assembly elections in key states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The Congress party managed to form government in Karnataka and Telangana. The Grand Old party initiated process to stitch an alliance with other opposition parties to counter the BJP in 2024 elections.

Assembly Elections in 9 states

As many as 9 states went for Assembly polls in 2023. The BJP did well and formed government on its own in three states. It came to power in two states in alliance with some other parties. On the other hand, the Congress formed government in two states.


The Congress party defeated BJP in the May 10 Karnataka Assembly Election by securing 135 seats of the total 224. The BJP emerged victorious in 66 seats while Janata Dal (Secular) of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda got only 19 seats. Congress leader Siddaramaiah was sworn in as the Chief Minister and DK Shivakumar as Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka.


The BJP came victorious in the Assembly elections in Rajasthan by trouncing the Congress party. The BJP secured victory in 115 Assembly seats of the total 200 while the Congress party secured only 69 seats. BJP leader Bhajan Lal Sharma took oath as the Chief Minister of the desert state. Party leaders Diya Kumari and Prem Chand Bairwa were sworn in as Deputy Chief Ministers.

Madhya Pradesh

The BJP retained power in Madhya Pradesh by defeating the Congress party. Candidates of BJP came victorious in 163 seats of the total 230 while the Congress party won 66 seats. BJP leader Mohan Yadav was sworn in as the Chief Minister while Rajendra Shukla and Jagdish Devda took oath as Deputy Chief Ministers.


The BJP returned to power in Chhattisgarh after a gap of five years by dislodging the Congress party. The BJP bagged 54 Assembly seats of the total 90 while the Congress party managed to secure 35 seats. Vishnu Deo Sai, a tribal leader, took oath as the Chief Minister while Arun Sao and Vijay Sharma were sworn in as Deputy Chief Ministers.


The Congress party came to power in Telangana for the first time after defeating the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS). The Congress party got 64 Assembly seats of the total 119 while the BRS managed secure 39 seats. A Revanth Reddy was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Telangana while Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka as his deputy.


Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) came to power in Mizoram by securing 27 Assembly seats of the total 40 in the elections held in November this year. ZPM leader Lalduhoma took oath as the Chief Minister of the northeastern state.


The NDPP-BJP alliance retained power in Nagaland for a second straight term. The alliance won 37 seats of the total 60 in the Assembly polls and Nephiu Rio took oath as the Chief Minister. NDPP MLA Taditui Rangkau Zeliang and BJP leader Yanthungo Patton were sworn in as Deputy Chief Ministers.


Conrad Sangama of National People’s Party was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya for the second time in a row. Sangama’s NPP won 26 seats of the total 60 Assembly seats and formed government with support from BJP and a few other parties.


The BJP-IPFT alliance won 33 seats in the 60-member Tripura Assembly and returned to the power. Manik Saha took oath as the Chief Minister of the North-eastern state for the second time.

Rahul Gandhi disqualified from Lok Sabha, reinstated following SC verdict  

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha in March this year following his conviction in a criminal defamation case by the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court in Gujarat’s Surat. The court sentenced Gandhi to two years of imprisonment for his Modi surname remark, made ahead of 2019 General elections. However, Gandhi was reinstated as Wayanad MP after the Supreme Court’s relief in the defamation case.

NCP, TMC & CPI lose National Party status

The Election Commission of India (ECI) withdrew the national party status of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) in April this year.

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP and Mamata Banerjee-led TMC lost the National Party status after they failed to perform well in successive elections in states other than Maharashtra and West Bengal respectively. The CPI too lost the tag for its poor electoral performances across India over the years.

However, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was accorded the National Party status for winning Punjab Assembly elections and doing better in Gujarat and a few other states.

INDIA block formed to take on BJP  

At least 26 Opposition parties, including two National and 24 regional parties, came together to form the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) to take on the BJP in the 2024 Parliamentary elections.

Congress, CMP, TMC, NCP, DMK, Samajwadi Party, CPI, JMM, PDP, NC, JD (U), RJD and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) are the major constituents of the INDIA block.

Leaders of the alliance have so far held four meetings to finalise the seat sharing deal for the next year’s Lok Sabha elections and evolve a strategy to dislodge BJP from power at Center.

Eknath Shinde faction recognized as real Shiv Sena

The Election Commission of India (ECI) recognized Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s faction as the real Shiv Sena and allotted the ‘bow and arrow’ poll symbol to it. The ECI allowed the Uddhav Thackrey faction to retain the name Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and allotted the ‘flaming torch’ poll symbol to it. Uddhav challenged the ECI decision in the court.

Split in Sharad Pawar’s NCP

Some Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs in Maharashtra led by Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar revolted against the veteran leader and joined in the Eknath Shinde government. Ajit was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister. Ajit later moved the Election Commission of India on the plea that his faction is the real NCP and it should be allowed to use party’s poll symbol ‘clock’.

New Parliament building inaugurated

India’s new Parliament building was inaugurated in May this year. The Centre spent around Rs 862 crore for constructing the building. The new Parliament building does not have a central hall but it is designed in such a way that the Lok Sabha can accommodate up to 1,272 people. So, there will not be any problem in holding the joint session of the Parliament.

Mahua Moitra expelled from Lok Sabha

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha for ‘unethical conduct’. Prior to her expulsion, the report in the ‘cash-for-query’ case was tabled in the Lower House. The House accepted the conclusions of the Ethics Committee that Moitra’s conduct was ‘immoral and indecent’. Earlier, there were allegations that businessman Darshan Hiranandani had paid money to Moitra for raising questions about the Adani Group in the Parliament.

141 MPs suspended from Parliament

As many as 146 MPs of the Opposition parties were suspended from both houses of Parliament within a few days during the Winter Session. The MPs—100 from Lok Sabha and 46 from Rajya Sabha—were suspended for creating ruckus in the House over alleged security breach in the Parliament on December 13.

The Opposition MPs reportedly sought a statement from Union Home Minister over the alleged security breach. Two persons allegedly jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from public gallery during Zero Hour on December 13 and released yellow smoke from canisters.

Around the same time, two more persons reportedly released coloured smoke from canisters while shouting ‘Tanashahi Nehi Chalegi’ outside the Parliament premises. At least six persons were arrested in connection with the incident.


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