The now ex-President of the Bharatiya Janta Party, Rajnath Singh announced this afternoon that Amit Shah, Modi’s confidante since years is set to take over the baton of the BJP Presidency from him. The possibility had been in contemplation since more than a month now, considering the issues with the party’s parent organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were under play. But a final stamp was put on the decision today.
Amit Shah has been a man of controversies for all the wrong reasons. As the Home Minister of Modi’s Gujarat government, he has faced criminal charges in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, for which he was given a clean chit preceding the 2014 general elections’ result. He also played a major role in the alleged illegal surveillance of a woman by the state government,and still faces charges on account of the extra-judicial killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh.
The position of the party president, in the context of the landslide victory of BJP in the state of Uttar Pradesh, appears to be a prize earned by Shah for his successful efforts. He proved himself as a remarkable strategist when he singlehandedly created conditions for the execution of the Muzaffarnagar communal riots in western Uttar Pradesh. Along with that, he won over eastern UP from the clutches of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav through communal polarization, as well.
Months after the riots, Shah openly delivered hates speeches calling out to the Jats of Muzaffarnagar to avenge the killings within their community by voting for BJP in the nearing polls. The Election Commission of India banned him temporarily from campaigning for the BJP, but the deed was done by then, and UP became a sure win for party.
The media contemplation since over a month brought out certain apprehensions of the RSS over positioning Amit Shah as the party president. Apparently, the Sanghparivar had been wary of the concentration of power in the hands of the Modi-Shah duo, for reasons of retaining its own control over the party. But reports over the last few days pointed at a silent compromise between BJP and the Sangh, who then extended their support to the Shah.
Of how long the RSS-BJP camaraderie is going to last, one can’t say. However now, considering his reputation of being a hard core right winger and being the target of various criticisms, BJP under his Presidency is going to be under close vigil by the Communist along with the many other BJP critics.
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