Amit Shah, an architect of BJP’s poll strategy in U.P.

Amit Shah, who was unanimously elected BJP president by the party’s Central Parliamentary Board here on Wednesday, is a former Minister of State for Home in Gujarat. He was named as an accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and his arrest had temporarily put the brakes on his political career.

He, however, got relief in the form of bail from the Supreme Court, though with some riders. When Mr. Modi handpicked him to work out the party’s election strategy in Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for 80 Lok Sabha seats, little did anyone imagine that the BJP would win 71 seats on its own and take its tally to secure a clear majority in the 16th Lok Sabha.

The announcement by Mr. Singh at the party headquarters appointing Mr. Shah the BJP president was greeted with loud cheering, bursting of crackers and drumbeats.

Commenting on Mr. Shah’s elevation, Mr. Modi tweeted: “Amit Bhai started his journey as an ordinary karyakarta [worker] and has repeatedly proven himself through tireless hard work and determination. I would like to specially thank Rajnathji for his great leadership, under which the party scaled new heights of success. With the blessings of the party elders and selfless efforts of karyakartas, the BJP’s mission of creating a strong and developed India continues.”

Mr. Singh said that with Mr. Shah as the leader, the party’s stature would further increase. With the crowning of Mr. Shah to manage party affairs, all eyes are now on the new team that he will pick. Four general secretaries, three vice-presidents, two spokespersons and one treasurer have joined the Union Cabinet and he is expected to announce their replacement soon. The party will also have to restructure the Central Parliamentary Board, with Mr. Shah as its newest member.

Organisational skills

BJP leaders said that Mr. Shah’s tenure will also see a close and smooth coordination between the party and the government as well as its ideological mentor — the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. His organisational skills and political acumen are also acknowledged by all in the party as he managed to win allies like Lok Jan Shakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan in Bihar and ensured that the focus during electioneering stayed firmly on Mr. Modi, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

He was elevated as BJP general secretary and given charge of Uttar Pradesh last year. The party will expect him to script an impressive victory as in Uttar Pradesh in the Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra this year and Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir next year.

Mr. Shah joined the student wing of the party in 1983 and the party three years later. When Mr. Modi became Gujarat Chief Minister, he took Mr. Shah under his wings and imparted skills of micro-management of political and electoral affairs. There was no looking back for Mr. Shah as he rapidly rose to the top echelons of the party.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 5:18:46 PM |

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