NEW DELHI: Amit Shah, the chief architect of BJ'P's victory in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and a trusted lieutenant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, faces an uphill task as the country's new Home Minister.
Shah, who has often talked about his party's policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and its resolve to curb illegal immigration, will be tested in the days to come if he has the grit and determination to implement the NRC across the country and scrap Article 35A in Jammu and Kashmir.
In its manifesto, the BJP had promised that it was "committed to annulling Article 35A" of the Constitution of India as the provision is "discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir".
Article 35A provides special rights and privileges to the residents of J&K but prohibits the non-state subject from buying land or settling permanently in the state.
Though Shah has made his debut at the Centre with the crucial Home Ministry, he has handled the home portfolio in his previous stint as a minister in Gujarat under then CM Narendra Modi.
Called as 'Chanakya' for his excellent organisational skills that were as marked by series of successes in the elections as BJP president, Shah`s entry into the North Block gets a profile commensurate with other big challenges like terrorism and Naxal violence
After replacing veteran Rajnath Singh in the Home Ministry, the BJP president will have to address issues like scrapping the special status given to J&K under Article 370 of the Constitution, an issue dear to the party and the Sangh Parivar for long and promised in the party manifesto during the recent elections.
Shah`s first responsibility will be to ensure that Pulwama like attacks on security forces or on civilians, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, do not take place for which he has to take steps to revitalize the security establishment.
The other major issue that will come up for review in the Home Ministry will be whether to continue with the muscular anti-terror policy being pursued in Kashmir and whether the government would give an opportunity for internal dialogue with various stakeholders in the troubled state.
Shah brings with him a vast experience in the political arena. He was party in-charge of Uttar Pradesh in 2014 and helped BJP and its allies win 73 out of 80 seats.
In 2019 too, Shah managed BJP election campaign and also rigorously campaigned at the same time, which saw BJP winning 303 seats. BJP became the first party in India, since 1971, to return with full majority.
Shah had managed election campaigns of BJP since 1989. With his excellent election management expertise, he managed the election campaign of BJP stalwart Lal Krishna Advani from Ahmedabad constituency in 1989.
Indeed, as the captain of the winning team, Shah deserves credit for turning the party into an election-winning machine.
BJP won assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Assam, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh under his helm.
Under his leadership, BJP, earlier considered as North-India party, spread its footprints in north-eastern states, West Bengal, Odisha, and southern states.
Shah was born in Mumbai in 1964 and was brought up at his paternal village in Maansa, Gujarat till the age of 16. Before joining BJP in 1984-58, Shah worked for Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of RSS for some time.
There, Shah was noted for his organisational skills and was appointed the national treasurer of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha and subsequently the state secretary and state vice-president of the party in Gujarat.
During these years, Shah came in contact with Narendra Modi-then a rising star in the BJP. He and Narendra Modi, who was then an organisational secretary of the party in Gujarat, helped BJP mobilise its workers, which bore fruitful results for the BJP in subsequent elections.
However, challenges grew for Shah when he was jailed in Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case in 2010.
The case was later dismissed by a special CBI court.
(With Agency inputs)