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Amit Shah, Modi’s shadow man now caught in limelight



Amit Shah: ultimate Modi loyalist

Amit Shah: ultimate Modi loyalist

New Delhi: Amit Shah, perhaps the only man in BJP Narendra Modi trusts would perhaps like to be out of news as far as possible and for good reasons too. By habit a quiet worker, he has laid out the groundwork for the 2014 elections in Uttar Pradesh, a state that may determine Modi’s fate in the coming elections. But Amit Shah, much against his wishes has come under the limelight suddenly for two reasons on the same day. First, his utterances in the Muzaffarnagar area and second because of the harsh language used by his opponent Azam Khan, not known to be a spotless gentleman either, to characterize him. Amit Shah is currently on judicial bail and the Supreme Court has directed that he may not enter his home state of Gujarat where he may influence the investigations of the encounter killings. In the interim, the BJP has appointed Shah as the BJP poll manager for Uttar Pradesh for the forthcoming (2014) general elections.

The Election Commission yesterday issued a notice to Amit Shah for prima facie violation of the model code of conduct, taking note of his alleged “revenge” remark while campaigning in riot-affected areas of Uttar Pradesh. The key Narendra Modi aide has been asked to explain by Wednesday evening why action should not be initiated against him, sources said. The notice served to Shah said that he had “prima facie violated provisions of the model code of conduct that restrain parties and candidates from any activity that may trigger communal hatred, damage reputation of individual or rival party”. It added: “The commission thus gives you an opportunity to explain your stand by 5pm on April 9, 2014, failing which the ECI shall take a decision without further reference to you.”

Samajwadi Party leader and UP minister Azam Khan said on Monday that BJP general secretary Amit Shah was a “goonda” (thug) and “qatil” (killer). He also described BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as an “enemy of the Muslims”. Khan was campaigning for the party’s Ghaziabad candidate, Sudhan Rawat, in the Muslim-dominated Masuri area. Referring to Shah as “Goonda No. 1”, Khan said, “Humari majboori hai use goonda kehne ki, kisi qatil ko sharif nahi kaha ja sakta. (I am forced to call him a thug. A killer cannot be called a gentleman).” Khan also said Modi was responsible for the 2002 Gujarat riots. Stating that the man who had referred to Muslims as “puppies” could “never work for the benefit of Muslims”, Khan said Modi’s policies would only serve to divide Hindus and Muslims.

Amit Shah [born 1964] was minister of state for Home in the Gujarat government under Chief Minister Narendra Modi, but had to resign in 2010 after he was arrested on charges of having ordered a series of “encounter” killings by the State Police. In 2003, after the BJP won a second term, Modi inducted Shah as the youngest minister in the cabinet, and gave him an unprecedented ten portfolios. These included the Home ministry, which looks after the police apparatus in the state. He quickly emerged as Modi’s right-hand man in the new party.

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