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Amit Shah

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Amith sha
Amith sha

Amit Shah was born 22 October 1964 in Mumbai, in a well-to-do family. His father Anilchandra Shah. Amit Shah is an Indian politician from Gujarat. He is the current president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Shah was elected as an MLA from Sarkhej in four consecutive elections: 1997 (bye-election), 1998, 2002 and 2007.

He is a close associate of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and held a number portfolios in Government of Gujarat, when Modi was the Chief Minister. In 2010, Shah was accused of orchestrating a fake police encounter, which happened during his tenure as the Gujarat Home Minister.

He was forced to resign, and arrested. Shah maintains that all the accusations against him are false, and are the result of a “witch-hunt” by his political opponents belonging to the Indian National Congress.

Shah was later granted bail, on the condition that he will not stay in Gujarat. He was allowed to return to Gujarat in 2012, and won Assembly elections from Naranpura.Shah is known for his organizational skills. He rose to national prominence after orchestrating BJP’s massive win in Uttar Pradesh, in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. As a prominent politician, he receives Z plus security Cover from Government.

Early Life

Amit Shah did his schooling in Mehsana, and then moved to Ahmedabad to study biochemistry at CU Shah Science College. He graduated with a B.Sc. degree in biochemistry, and then worked for his father’s business. He also worked as a stockbroker and in co-operative banks in Ahmedabad.

Shah was involved with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since childhood, participating in the neighbourhood shakhas (branches) as a boy. He formally became a RSS swyamsevak (volunteer) during his college days in Ahmedabad. He first met Narendra Modi in 1982, in the Ahmedabad RSS circles. At that time, Modi was a minor RSS pracharak, working as in-charge of youth activities in city.

Personal life

Amit Shah is married to Sonal Shah, and the couple has a son named Jay. Shah was very close to his mother, who died from an illness on 8 June 2010, around a month before his arrest on 25 July. People close to Amit Shah have described him as someone who does not like to socialize much.

Political Career

Amit Shah started his political career as a leader of RSS’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1983. He joined BJP in 1986, one year before Modi joined the party. He became an activist of BJP’s youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in 1987. He then gradually rose in the BJYM hierarchy, holding various posts including that of ward secretary, taluka secretary, state secretary, vice-president, and general secretary. He campaigned for Lal Krishna Advani in Gandhinagar during the 1991 Lok Sabha elections.

In 1995, BJP formed its first government in Gujarat, with Keshubhai Patel as the Chief Minister. At that time, BJP’s main rival Indian National Congress was highly influential in rural Gujarat. Modi and Shah worked together to decimate Congress in the rural areas. Their strategy was to find the second most influential leader in every village, and get him or her to join BJP. They created a network of 8,000 influential rural leaders who had lost elections to the pradhan (village chief) post in their village.

As a Gujarat minister

In October 2001, BJP replaced Keshubhai Patel with Narendra Modi as the chief minister of Gujarat, following allegations of inefficient administration. Over the next few years, Modi and Shah gradually sidelined their political rivals.

Amit Shah contested the 2002 Assembly election from the Sarkhej constituency in Ahmedabad. He won by the highest margin among all candidates: 158,036 votes. In the 2007 Assembly election, he won from Sarkhej again, improving his margin of victory.

During Narendra Modi’s twelve-year tenure as the Gujarat CM, Shah emerged as one of the most powerful leaders in Gujarat. After winning the 2002 elections, he became the youngest minister in the Modi government, and was given multiple portfolios. At one time, he held 12 portfolios: Home, Law and Justice, Prison, Border Security, Civil Defence, Excise, Transport, Prohibition, Home Guards, Gram Rakshak Dal, Police Housing, and Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs.

Electoral record

Since 1989, Shah has fought 28 elections to the Gujarat State Assembly and various local bodies. As of 2014, he has never lost an election.

Election Year Constituency Result Votes  % Votes
Gujarat Legislative Assembly (by-election) 1997 Sarkhej Won 76839 56.10%
Gujarat Legislative Assembly 1998 Sarkhej Won 193,373 69.81%
Gujarat Legislative Assembly 2002 Sarkhej Won 288,327 66.98%
Gujarat Legislative Assembly 2007 Sarkhej Won 407,659 68.00%
Gujarat Legislative Assembly 2012 Naranpura Won 103,988 69.19%

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