Chankya, the great Indian thinker, once travelled to Magadha, a kingdom that was territorially large and militarily powerful and was feared by its neighbours. But Chanakya was insulted by the king of the Nanda dynasty, Dhananand. Chankya swore revenge and destroyed the Nanda Empire. This might be the probable reason why the Union Home Minister is referred to as the Chanakya of Indian Politics. Amit Shah was the man who single-handedly destroyed the “Gandhi Empire”.
Amit Shah’s journey from Karyakarta to Neta
Amit Anilchandra Shah, PM Modi’s trusted deputy and the second most powerful man in India, is celebrating his birthday today. He was born into a prosperous Gujarati family in Mumbai. He turns 58 today. He began his political career in the 1980s and was influenced by the ideology of the Sangh.
He became a member of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at the mere age of 16. Within two years, he was promoted to the joint secretary of the Gujarat unit of the ABVP. He then joined the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and is today the Union Home Minister of India. However, the journey was not a cake walk.
Shah contested from Gujarat’s Sarkhej constituency in 1997, and since then he has never been defeated. In the 2002 cabinet, Shah was rewarded with about 10 portfolios, including home, law and justice, and border security, among others, for getting the BJP to win a thumping majority. And then the juggernaut of winning elections became unstoppable.
The 5 Historic Achievements of Amit Shah
1. How Amit Shah conquered Uttar Pradesh for the BJP in 2019
We all know Shah as the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)’s youngest national president, but he had to prove his might to win the chair. Amit Shah was residing in Gujarat Bhavan when he was handed over the responsibility of conquering India’s most politically crucial state, Uttar Pradesh. With Shah’s strategic gamble, the BJP secured 73 out of 80 seats.
Shah’s social and political strategies were at play from micro booth level planning to ensure village after village votes for the BJP, to appointing community leaders, other than the existing majors, to bring the fence sitter castes in BJP’s fold. This is how BJP got the support of Non- Yadav OBCs and Non-Jatav Dalits. Post this success, Amit Shah was rewarded with the responsibility of being party’ national president. At the age of 49, he became BJP’s youngest national president.
2. The thumping victory in 2019
Amit Shah has always had a goal-oriented approach, which helped him not only secure victory for his party but also gathered him praises. He was a pro and had vast experience of organising election campaigns for BJP stalwarts like Lal Krishna Advani and Atal Vihari Vajpayee.
The lessons he learnt and applied complemented the charisma of Narendra Modi. This was the reason why Modi had decided to appoint him as the campaign chief in the 2000s, and the same was applied to the election campaign of Narendra Modi when he made his bid for the prime ministership.
Off late, the same strategies were applied to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections that helped the party increase its tally at a time when anti-incumbency could be smelled. Shah made a foray into states where people had never voted for the BJP and micro-level planning complemented with social engineering did magic.
3. Historic growth of the BJP
The Congress had a legacy. It was fed well to the Indians that it was the Congress that fought for India’s independence from the Britishers. And the blind faith in the Nehru-Gandhi family had even made the situation worse. It was Amit Shah who unveiled the Gandhis and made space for the resurrection of the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi. 2014 was just the tip of the iceberg, and after that it became impossible to halt the Modi-Shah juggernaut. Elections after elections and states after states were entering into the BJP’s fold.
Shah abandoned no region, be it the South, which looked down upon the BJP as the party of the Hindi cow belt, or the North East, which had been a traditional loyal vote bank of the Congress. The BJP under Shah made the people realise how the Congress had treated them step-motherly and the result was for all to see. The BJP under Modi-Shah even formed its government in the impossible landscape of Kashmir, and this is how the party became the largest party in the world.
4. Abrogation of Article 370
The abrogation of the special status of Kashmir has been in the manifesto of the saffron party since it was founded by Syama Prasad Mukherjee, who talked about ‘Ek Nishan, Ek Vidhan’. The BJP found the articles discriminatory and was vocal about it. However, gathbandhan dharm has stopped the previous leaders from following their vows.
There was no such thing this time under Modi-Shah as they had their governments in Jammu and Kashmir (previously) as well as had a thumping majority in Parliament. Shah paid several visits to the state and developed a common consensus against the provisions.
Under him, the Home Ministry, which he had taken over just 2 months back, along with the Prime Minister and Parliament, abolished Article 370 and 35 A. The manner in which he introduced and ensured the passage of the amendment to Article 370 in the Parliament through a presidential ordinance was extraordinary. This was no less than a constitutional and legislative coup, the credit for which should go to Shah.
5. Free hand to NIA
The Union Home Ministry needed a strong-arm man, and probably this is why PM Modi handed it over to Amit Shah. Shah is not just a political strategist but also an election winner and a legislator. The strong decisions taken by Shah prove that no one can ace the way he is doing. An example could be banning the Popular Front of India (PFI). PFI was an organisation that not only had political representation but also political backing. Banning such an organisation has the potential to unleash chaos.
However, nothing happened as it was executed under Amit Shah, who gave a free hand to the NIA to carry on the crackdown. NIA had raided 93 PFI a location, followed by countrywide police raids, and PFI was banned, a demand that was up since 2010. What allowed Amit Shah to give a free hand to the NIA to carry out the lethal crackdown was his observation of SIMI and Indian Mujahideen as the Gujarat Home Minister.
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