#DHRecaps | Lynching, polls & big weddings in Rajasthan

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra (C) during her wedding celebration along with friends and relatives at Umaid Bhawan palace in Jodhpur. AFP file photo

Change of guard, Assembly election results bringing the BJP to 73 from 163 seats, Akbar Khan lynching and a Jodhpur court's decision on Salman Khan and Asaram Bapu dominated Rajasthan in 2018.

It was a happening year for Rajasthan when it comes to political discourse. The BJP, which won a thumping majority in 2013 received two major jolts.

First, by losing two Lok Sabha and one Assembly seat in early 2018 by-polls, and second, the big loss in the recent Assembly polls. Amid major political rallies before the Assembly elections, the state also witnessed a political shift.

Moreover, ahead of the Assembly polls, infighting in both Congress and BJP camps hogged the limelight.

In the BJP camp, there was a clear fight between former chief minister Vasundhara Raje and the Central leadership of the BJP. While in the Congress camp, a bitter fight between veteran Congress leader Ashok Gehlot and young leader Sachin Pilot was evident, especially when the party high command took three days to decide the chief ministerial face in for Rajasthan.

Rajasthan was also in the news because of one more lynching incident that took place in June in Mewat area, infamous for cow vigilante activities. A dairy farmer, 45-year-old Akbar, was reportedly attacked by a group of cow vigilantes.

However, unlike two previous cases of Pehlu Khan ad Umar Khan, this time the Rajasthan police condemned the act and held the culprits within a week of the incident.

Interestingly, Jodhpur city was in the news because of the two high-profile cases of Salman Khan and Asaram Bapu heard at a High Court bench. Bollywood actor Salman Khan was found guilty by a trial court and he subsequently spent two nights and two days in Jodhpur's Central Jail.

He was later granted bail by a sessions court on April 7, and was told to file a personal bail bond for Rs 50,000 and produce a Rs 25,000 surety from two persons. However, other film stars — Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu were acquitted by the court. In another high-profile case, the Jodhpur court awarded imprisonment till death to Asaram Bapu for raping a minor.

When it comes to Bollywood and Rajasthan, both have an old connection. The year saw rounds of controversies over the release of Padmaavat, a film based on the queen of Chittor.

The film was not released in the theatres in the state following protests by a fringe group — Karni Sena.

However, as the year progressed, Rajasthan once again became the favourite destination for big fat Indian weddings.

Jodhpur's Umaid Bhawan Palace was the reception venue for Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas.

A week after Priyanka and Nick's fairytale wedding reception, businessman Mukesh Ambani's daughter's reception was held at the lake city of Udaipur. 

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#DHRecaps | Lynching, polls & big weddings in Rajasthan

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