Shah was made the president of the BJP today. With this, he has become the youngest president of the party in which veterans have generally called the shots.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was basking in his crowning glory, the man who brought him laurels was sitting on the back-seat. Amit Shah, the party’s key election strategist, who scripted history by getting the BJP massive mandate, did not contest elections himself.
Today, he received the reward for his hard work. And yes, he deserved every ounce of it.
Shah was made the president of the BJP today. The announcement was made at the party headquarters by outgoing party chief Rajnath Singh in the presence of PM Modi. With this, he has become the youngest president of the party in which veterans have generally called the shots.
Several other senior leaders, including L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu, were present on the stage as Shah was felicitated by Singh and Modi.
The historic win of the party in the Lok Sabha elections and the extra-ordinary political performance in UP where Shah led the party to a dream run wresting 71 of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state earned him the post.
Shah’s exceptional organizational skills had helped the BJP in Bihar as well where the party forged alliances with the LJP and OBC strongman Upinder Kushwaha to bag 22 seats alone and 31 out of 40 seats with allies. This reduced the state’s incumbent Nitish Kumar-led JDU government to a virtual naught.
UP, Bihar and Gujarat put together, Shah’s stamp was visible in half of the total number of seats the BJP won in the 16th Lok Sabha elections, driving the party to its best ever performance under the Modi-Shah combine.
Shah, who is considered a mass leader, had his roots in the RSS. He first met Narendra Modi in 1982, in the Ahmedabad RSS circles. At that time, Modi was a minor RSS pracharak, working as in-charge of youth activities in city. The bond that was forged between then 17 year old Shah and Modi is ongoing today.
When the CBI named Shah in its chargesheet in the murder of small-time gangster Shohrabuddin Sheikh, Shah went virtually underground in the months before his arrest. He stopped using his official mobile phone and his official car.
Shah was charged, arrested and jailed in the Sohrabuddin case and was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court on the condition that he left Gujarat. Shah remained in exile till the Supreme Court decided on a CBI plea that his bail be cancelled.
In 2012, the top court confirmed bail for Shah and allowed him to return to Gujarat. He contested the assembly elections in December and surprised no one by posting an easy victory.
In December 2002, when Narendra Modi first crushed the Congress to win a record 126 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, Amit Shah won by the highest margin of votes – over 1.58 lakh – which was even higher than Modi himself. His constituency, Sarkhej, elected him again in 2007 where he bettered the margin of victory winning by 2.35 lakh votes.
The man who is head of the Gujarat Chess association and has a keen interest in the game, has shown his mettle at every juncture. There is no doubt that he will lead the party to victory in upcoming assembly elections in various states too.