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Shah — The Chanakya in search of friends

After recent by-elections setbacks, there is some awkwardness in BJP and a realisation has dawned on it that the support of its allies is essential for retaining power in next general election. The BJP has to keep its allies in good humour and Amit Shah’s visit to Mumbai, meeting with Shiv Sena chief and subsequent meeting with Akali Dal leadership are steps in that direction. Though, Shiv Sena knows that they cannot make to power without the support of its alliance and even BJP is aware that they cannot earn the majority of votes; hence, to retain power, they need their alliance in place. The pre-poll alliance with Akali Dal is a foregone conclusion but it would not be as easy with Shiv Sena which is asserting its supremacy in Maharashtra. The results of last Maharashtra Assembly elections have emboldened the BJP and increased insecurities of Shiv Sena but the former cannot afford to lose this old and all-weather ally. The Rajya Sabha election was turned by Amit Shah into a Clash of the Titans: the President of BJP vs the President of the Indian National Congress. In the event, Shah has broken with humiliation in Karnataka. Despite resorting to every murky pretend, Shah, with supreme mockery, self-destructed when two Congress quislings decided to provide him with irrefutable evidence of their treachery by flaunting their ballot papers to his approving stare. After its by-poll defeat saga, the question is of survival and that too in numbers.

After the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Shah was declared as the man of the match by Modi and was appointed as the youngest national President of BJP. He delivered victories for the BJP in Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls after becoming President. He is still putting all his effort to make BJP the single largest party at least and if he succeeds, then other parties will have to be really scared of him in 2019. Shah travelled nearly 300,000 km during his first tenure. His ambitious push helped BJP increase its membership from mere 2.5 crore to over 11 crore, thus making it the world’s largest political party. Perhaps, that is the reason he is called the Chanakya of BJP. Chanakya was the architect behind Chandragupta Maurya’s rise to the power and the main political power behind the throne. Amit Shah serves a similar role for Modi. However, every political party has a backdoor gentleman who handles the numbers and dirty tricks of the trade. This person handles the invisible aspects of running a government.They become the eyes and ears through which a leader views the nations and situations.

It was Ahmed Patel for Sonia Gandhi and it’s Amit Shah for Narendra Modi. This guy has some brilliant networking and people mobilising skills. Way back, BJP’s tallest leader LK Advani decided to fight the election from Gandhinagar. And this man had been assigned responsibility of Gandhinagar. Advani won Gandhinagar consi-stency with a very good margin. This seat was really important for Advani, as in New Delhi consistency Advani was getting tough fight from superstar Rajesh Khanna. So, Amit Shah was the most trusted man completing the job for Advani. In the next general election, Atal Bihari Vajpayee fought the election from Gandhinagar and again Amit Shah was the most trusted man for doing the job. After that he handled election campaigns for LK Advani till 2009. It gave a big boost to his stature in BJP. He was Modi’s man. Modi was sent to the centre in 1996 after his conflicts with the Chief Minister. But Shah was working for Modi in Gujarat. He was responsible for Modi’s comeback in the state. In Gujarat, at one point of time, all Sahakari units and sport organisations was controlled by Congress; but, BJP strategically snatched them away one by one. Today, all of them are controlled by BJP. This most trusted campaigner of BJP is now running pin to polls trying to notch up a strong alliance, beginning with keeping intact the already formed alliance of 2014 — to counter the possibility of a “Grand Opposition alliance”. Earlier, the BJP had been a bit arrogant — the 2014 “giant killing” at the electoral levels having gone to its leaders’ head — and the entire BJP, starting from the PM down to the lowest level — were merely talking and doing little to follow up on many concepts that were unleashed almost every day! Time will tell how the current situation would shape when elections finally arrive and people are to vote.

We know that all alliances are for accommodative convenience and that is what they should be. But if opportunism becomes all pervasive, things get complicated. BJP would like to have electoral alliances with regional parties, though there are very few options right now. Recently, TDP had quit NDA on basis of this perception and Shiv Sena too is in a similar mood. If BJP leaders feel that without Shiv Sena, BJP cannot do well in Maharashtra, they may have to accept many tough conditions of Sena so that alliance remains unbroken. The question which arises here is whether such conditions would be acceptable to BJP’s Central and State leadership. Would BJP find itself without friends in Maharashtra? Uncertainty looms large. We will have to wait and watch for further developments.


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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 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 caters to her freelance jobs.

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