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HomeEditorialGujarati PM appoints Gujarati Amit Shah as Party President

Gujarati PM appoints Gujarati Amit Shah as Party President

Amit Shah, a close associate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is the new BJP president; outgoing Chief Rajnath Singh announced it to media. Now Modi’s grip over party and Government is finished and he can function without any hurdles. I hope he will deliver as he promised the nation, since all the sulking members are sidelined and likeminded people at the helm of party and in Government are there. Shah has proved himself to be a driving force in bringing Modi to his present stature and place. This is just a token of love and thanks giving to Shah from Modi.

As per Wikipedia, Amit Shah started his political career as a leader of RSS’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1983. He joined BJP in 1986, one year before Modi joined the party. He became an activist of BJP’s youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in 1987. He then gradually rose in the BJYM hierarchy, holding various posts including that of ward secretary, taluka secretary, state secretary, vice-president, and general secretary. He campaigned for Lal Krishna Advani in Gandhinagar during the 1991 Lok Sabha elections. In 1995, BJP formed its first government in Gujarat, with Keshubhai Patel as the Chief Minister. At that time, BJP’s main rival Indian National Congress was highly influential in rural Gujarat. Modi and Shah worked together to decimate Congress in the rural areas. Their strategy was to find the second most influential leader in every village, and get him or her to join BJP. They created a network of 8,000 influential rural leaders who had lost elections to the pradhan (village chief) post in their village.

Shah and Modi used the same strategy to reduce Congress’ influence over the state’s powerful co-operatives, which played an important role in the state’s economy. In 1999, Shah was elected as the President of Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB), the biggest cooperative bank in India. In Gujarat, such elections had traditionally been won on the caste considerations, and the co-operative banks had traditionally been controlled by Patels, Gaderias and Kshatriyas. Despite not belonging to any of these castes, Shah managed to win the election. At that time, the bank was on the verge of collapsing, having accumulated losses of INR 36 crore. Shah turned around the bank’s fortune within a year time: the next year, the bank registered a profit of INR 27 crore. By 2014, the bank’s profit had increased to around INR 250 crore. Shah also ensured that 11 of the Bank’s 22 directors were his loyalists in the BJP.

Modi and Shah also sought to reduce the Congress hold over sports bodies in the Gujarat state. Shah served as the President of Gujarat State Chess Association. In 2009, he became the vice-president of the cash-rich Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA), when Narendra Modi served as its President. Much later, in 2014, he became the President of GCA. Modi, who had become a general secretary in the party’s state unit by the early 1990s, used his influence to get bigger roles for Shah. He convinced Patel to appoint Shah as the chairman of the Gujarat State Financial Corporation, a public sector financial institution which finances small and medium-scale enterprises. After Shankersinh Vaghela and some other leaders complained about Modi’s growing clout in the Gujarat government, the party leadership moved Modi out of Gujarat, to the BJP headquarters in Delhi. During this time (1995-2001), Shah served as Modi’s informer in Gujarat.

In 1997, Modi lobbied to get Shah a BJP ticket for the Gujarat Legislative Assembly bye-election in Sarkhej. Shah became an MLA in February 1997 after winning the bye-election. He retained his seat in the 1998 Assembly elections. Mr. Shah had some weeks ago emerged the front-runner vis-a-vis colleagues such as JP Nadda and Om Prakash Mathur, with assembly elections due in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand. In the General elections this year, Shah, 50, engineered a massive victory for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, delivering 71 of the state’s 80 parliamentary seats. In 2010, Shah was accused of orchestrating a fake police encounter, which happened during his tenure as the Gujarat Home Minister. He was forced to resign, and arrested. Shah maintains that all the accusations against him are false, and are the result of a “witch-hunt” by his political opponents belonging to the Indian National Congress. Shah was later granted bail, on the condition that he will not stay in Gujarat. He was allowed to return to Gujarat in 2012, and won Assembly elections from Naranpura. Shah is known for his organizational skills. Shah’s no-nonsense style of functioning — which includes doing a thorough homework before meetings to ensure that he has his way — has won several admirers within the BJP and the RSS. Within the party, his detractors have fallen silent after the BJP won an unprecedented number of Lok Sabha seats in UP.

Looking at stunning appointments and changes one can say, Gujarat is developed now and Gujaratis are spreading their wings further. Congratulations Mr. Shah.

Dr. Vaidehi Taman
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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