Bengaluru: Water wars with neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Goa over Cauvery and Mahadayi rivers marked the high point of variegated developments from Karnataka during 2016 that also saw BJP strongman B S Yeddyurappas return to state politics with a target to regain power in the next Assembly polls in 2018.
The Congress government in the state that managed to win only one of the three seats that went for bypolls during the year also had to face embarrassment with a minister having to quit over an alleged sex CD scandal and another being caught on camera scrolling through sleazy pictures on his mobile at a public function.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has been facing murmurs of discontent within the party after his decision to sack 14 ministers and to induct an equal number of them, was alsoembroiled in a controversy over owning an expensive Hublot watch.
BJP also faced its share of disgruntlement within, with senior leader K S Eshwarappa openly expressing displeasure over the unilateral functioning of its newly-appointed state chief Yeddyurappa.
With an eye on 2018 assembly polls, BJP appointed Lingayat strongman Yeddyurappa. Considered as the clear contender for the chief ministers post, Yeddyurappa has set a target of 150 seats. JD(S) too was troubled by dissidence and had to sack eight of its MLAs for cross voting in favour of Congress during Rajya Sabha polls.
Karnataka saw cases of police officials quitting service or committing suicide alleging interference and harassment.
One such incident had led to resignation of minister K JGeorge who along with two senior IPS officials were named by DySP M K Ganapathy in an interview to a TV channel before committing suicide. George returned as minister after being given a clean chit in a probe.
On the business front in the state, the legal battles involving liquor baron Vijay Mallya, change of guard at Wipro with Abid Ali Neemuchwala taking over as new CEO, top management rejig at e-commerce major Flipkart made headlines.
The launch of the first squadron of two Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, and series of successful satellite launches by Bengaluru-headquartered ISRO including the flight of reusable launch vehicle – technology demonstrator and launch of 20 satellites in a single flight, showcased Indias technological and engineering prowess to the world.
Also, killings of BJP and Sangh Parivar activists in the state and cash-for-vote sting operations during the Rajya Sabha elections were among the other issues from Karnataka that dominated the national headlines.