In less than three months of appointment as Home Minister, Amit Shah created history by fulfilling a long-time promise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to repeal Article 370. On August 5, 2019, Shah moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha that Article 370, which allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have its own Constitution, will no longer be applicable.
The Union minister turned 55 on October 22. As BJP president, Shah has been credited with scripting several of the party’s electoral successes over the past few years, including its spectacular win in Lok Sabha elections 2019, which brought it back to power. After the resounding victory, Shah decided to give up his role as a backroom operator and assume one as a high-profile administrator.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished Shah on his birthday, describing him as a hard working person who is playing an important role in keeping India secure. "Birthday greetings to my colleague in the Union Cabinet, a hardworking, experienced and an able organisational person. While playing an important role in government, he is making a valuable contribution to make India stronger and safer," the PM wrote in Hindi on Twitter.
Amit Shah's entry into politics
Amit Shah initially joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He was serving as a volunteer for RSS when he met PM Modi for the first time. Later, he became an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), and was later appointed its Ahmedabad city unit secretary.
In the following year, Shah joined the BJP. His dedication and result-oriented performance made him in-charge of several election campaigns for national leaders, including Lal Krishna Advani in 1991, Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1996, both in Gandhi Nagar parliamentary constituency. It, therefore, came as no surprise that when Narendra Modi decided to contest his first Assembly election in 2001 from Rajkot-2 assembly constituency, Shah was the campaign chief.
Shah successfully contested the 2002 Gujarat Legislative assembly elections and emerged as one of the most powerful leaders in the Narendra Modi administration in Gujarat. He was given multiple ministerial portfolios simultaneously in the Modi government in Gujarat. His ministerial tenure is remembered for a string of initiatives, such as set-up of modern forensic laboratories and strengthening of coastal policing.
In 2013, Shah was appointed National General Secretary of the BJP and in-charge of Uttar Pradesh. His efforts earned BJP a historic success in the general elections of 2014. After BJP formed the government in the Centre, Shah took over as party president and there was no looking back. Under Shah’s presidency, BJP formed governments in Haryana, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh. Also, with their alliance partners, the saffron party returned to power in states like Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Assam, Goa and Manipur.
In 2019, Shah fought Lok Sabha elections from the first time from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar and won by a margin of 5.57 lakh votes against his nearest Congress rival C J Chavda.
BJP’s indispensable memberAmit Shah is so indispensable to the BJP that he continues as party chief even after his appointment as the Home Minister of India, and despite that fact that the BJP usually follows the one-man, one-post rule.