Ritesh K Srivastava
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi`s close confidant and BJP general secretary Amit Shah has done the task for his boss.
With the BJP winning 73 seats in politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 MPs to Parliament, its seems that Shah has finally cleared the biggest acid test of his political career with flying colours.
With the BJP making a clean sweep in the state, riding on the back of the Narendra Modi wave, Shah has justified his appointment as the party`s in-charge of Uttar Pradesh where the party was locked in a bitter duel with mighty Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party) and Mayawati, whose party Bahujan Samaj Party could not even open its account.
For Shah, who is known for his excellent organisational skills, the task to ensure his party`s emphatic victory was enormously difficult and questions were raised over the appointment of an “outsider” as the in-charge of the politically crucial state.
However, keeping aside all apprehensions, the party relied on Narendra Modi`s chief strategist and the brain behind the Gujarat Chief Minister`s consecutive electoral success in his state. Amit Shah was appointed UP in-charge in May last year and given the task of winning at least 40 seats in the state.
With Modi standing firmly by his side, Shah set out on mission UP. He faced the tough challenge of unifying and galvanizing the party, which was in tatters of sorts there. Besides, he also knew that in order to make Modi prime minister, it was crucial for the party to win at least 40 seats if not more in UP.
Here, it is also important to mention that the BJP had won only 10 seats in 2009 elections, and Amit Shah was given a difficult target to win 40 plus seats. Amit Shah not only took the challenge head-on but also raised a competent ‘army’ of dedicated BJP workers in the entire state. He ended factionalism and took onboard all those state leaders who were not working in tandem with each other and proving to be an obstacle in the BJP`s path to victory.
Amit Shah, who generally prefers to work in the back ground, used his political skills, acumen and resourcefulness into application and made the state his temporary home till the task is finished.
It is believed that Shah is the man who probably mooted the idea that Narendra Modi should contest from holy city of Varanasi to consolidate BJP`s position in Poorvanchal region. He also opened Narendra Modi`s campaign office in Varanasi to stay connected with the grass-root workers and worked round-the-clock to ensure that Modi wins with an impressive margin from the holy city to prove that the Gujarat Chief Minister is a pan-India leader.
Shah`s hard work has yielded rich dividends as Modi has won the Varanasi seat defeating Arvind Kejriwal of AAP and Ajay Rai of Congress with an impressive margin.
Shah hails from an affluent family and has been the home minister of Gujarat in the Modi government. Though he is considered very close to Modi, he has never acknowledged it in public and maintains that he shares only a working relationship with Modi.
Whatever one says, the BJP`s thumping victory has ended a ten year drought for the party at the Centre and credit for this goes to Shah to a large extent besides Modi`s charisma and his mass appeal.
For the man who scripted the BJP`s victory to ensure that his boss Narendra Modi comfortably becomes the Prime Minister, a key portfolio in the Union Cabinet could not also be ruled out as he had himself indicated that the weather in Delhi is more pleasant than in Ahemdabad.