oppn parties Amit Shah: From Party President To Home Minister?

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Amit Shah: From Party President To Home Minister?

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Amit Shah will finally contest in the upcoming elections. He has been nominated from Gandhinagar, a seat held by L K Advani. The 91-year old senior leader has been benched. Shah’s nomination means that the Modi-Shah duo has decided to up his role in the government. It is likely that if Shah wins (there actually is no if in that) and if NDA comes back to power he will be given an important ministry, probably Home Affairs. That would mean Rajnath Singh will be shifted to another ministry.

But Shah’s elevation would mean that the party would have to scout for a new president, if the principle of “one person, one post” is adhered to in his case too. That would be another headache for Modi. Despite the charisma of Modi, the BJP has treated both Shah and him as usurpers. Almost all senior leaders like Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha have never been comfortable with the in your face politics of the duo. Other senior leaders from various states are also angry at their reduced roles and almost no say in party affairs. But Shah, backed by the RSS, has been running the party with an iron grip. If he is elevated and gives up the party presidency, the control might be loosened. If one scans the horizon, it seems only Ram Madhav can be trusted by Modi-Shah to take over. The fact that he is also trusted by the RSS will go in his favour.

If Shah is given charge of Home Affairs will the Hindu right wing have a free run? One feels that having run the party for five years, Shah is a wiser and chastened man. He has seen how the assiduously cultivated support of Dalits and OBCs vanished after they were targeted by cow vigilantes. Hence, he is unlikely to be lenient with any group that does things that are likely to reduce the support for the BJP. Maybe he will think of some other way to get the Ram Mandir constructed if the Supreme Court either delays the case or if the ruling goes against the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. Maybe he will move faster and stronger against illegal immigrants and will try to push the Citizenship Bill, but he is unlikely to support the Hindu right-wing if it harms the party.