NEW DELHI: BJP leader Amit Shah, who helped the party win an unprecedented 73 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, has been rewarded for his feat. The BJP’s highest decision-making body, Parliamentary Board, on Wednesday “unanimously” endorsed Shah (49) as its 13th president. His proximity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured his hassle-free rise to the top post.
With Shah’s elevation, the 33-year-old party is set to make a generational change. The old guard will remain as ‘mentors’, while it will ensure a single chain of command for Modi over not just the government but also the party. Being one of the youngest BJP chiefs, Shah’s elevation is likely to translate into the party giving more responsibility to younger leaders in the main team.
Shah will replace Rajnath Singh, who joined the Modi Cabinet as Home Minister. Ending weeks of speculation over who would hold the party’s reigns as most of the powerful office bearers are now part of the government, the BJP placed its faith in the former Gujarat minister known as a master strategist.
Rajnath proposed Shah’s name which was endorsed by all members of the Parliamentary Board. Within minutes, all the board members, including Modi, L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, M M Joshi, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari, presented Shah to the media and felicitated the new party chief.
“I have full confidence that Amit Shah through his organisational and managerial skills will be successful in making the BJP reach bigger heights. I believe Shah will be more successful than me,” Rajnath said. He was the only one who spoke at Shah’s elevation.
Modi later tweeted congratulating Shah and hoped the party would emerge stronger and expand.
“Amit Bhai started his journey as an ordinary karyakarta and has repeatedly proven himself through tireless hard work and determination,” Modi said adding that with the blessings of party elders and the selfless efforts of karyakartas, the BJP’s mission of creating a strong and developed India continues.
As key members of the party get busy in running the government, Shah would get busy putting together a new team of office bearers. He will have his plate full as Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra are fast approaching, while the party is hoping to form the government in Delhi.