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IndiaAmit Shah: BJP's key strategist who rose to become one of the...

Amit Shah: BJP’s key strategist who rose to become one of the most influential figures in Indian politics


New Delhi, Jun 4: BJP's key strategist Amit Shah is credited for shaping many electoral outcomes of the party and also considered the chief architect of its meteoric rise under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi but in this Lok Sabha polls, things did not go according to plan.

Shah though won the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat by defeating his nearest Congress rival Sonal Patel by a staggering margin of more than 7.44 lakh votes.

However, the BJP appeared to be falling short of getting a majority to be able to form its government at the Centre on its own with the party winning 126 seats and leading in 114, according to the latest results and trends available on the Election Commission's website.

The BJP will have to depend heavily on its partners in the Democratic Alliance (NDA), especially the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal (United), to form a government.

Such an unexpected electoral outcome of the BJP took many by surprise and defied all the projections of most of the exit polls and also the party's ‘abki baar 400 par' slogan.

A party needs to secure at least 272 Lok Sabha seats out of 543 to form its government at the Centre.

Shah had said the BJP's assertion that its alliance will cross the 400-seat mark in the 2024 Lok sabha polls was not merely a poll slogan but a well thought-out goal.

“We will surely cross 400 seats. We will also form governments in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.

“If we get 399 seats and you say we have not crossed 400, then it is your wisdom. But the ‘400 paar' slogan is based on calculation and considered opinion,” he had said in his characteristic combative and sure-footed manner.

Shah's electoral prowess is not just limited to strategising but also extends to his own campaigns. After the announcement of Lok sabha poll schedule by the Election Commission, he held over 180 public meetings and road shows travelling to different parts of the country.

During his campaigns, he pushed the party's poll narrative combined with its Hindutva and hardcore nationalism with development plank and used every opportunity to vehemently countered the opposition's narrative.

After AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal, in his bid to dissuade people from voting in favour of the BJP, claimed that Narendra Modi will step down as prime minister after attaining 75 years of age, Shah was quick to rubbish his remarks asserting that Modi will complete his five-year term if the BJP is voted to power.

Shah also vehemently countered the bloc leaders' claim that the Constitution will be changed and reservation for SC, ST and OBCs will be discontinued if the BJP is voted to power, and kept up his focus on West Bengal as he carried out aggressive campaigns against the ruling TMC.

Often referred to as India's “second most powerful man”, Shah has been a driving force behind the BJP's rise. While his strategic acumen and organisational skills have been instrumental in shaping the party's electoral fortunes, his ability to understand the electoral pulse and craft winning strategies has drawn comparisons to the legendary Chanakya.

Shah began his public life early at the age of 16 in 1980 when he joined as a young Swayamsevak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. In 1982, he was made joint secretary of the Gujarat unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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