Sunday, Sep 21, 2014

BJP’s new ‘star’ Shah awaits next big assignment

Amit Shah after being elected in Ahmedabad Friday. (Source:Bhavesh Ravat) Amit Shah after being elected in Ahmedabad Friday. (Source: Bhavesh Ravat)
Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: June 14, 2014 1:31 am

Having ensured overwhelming electoral success for the party in Uttar Pradesh, BJP general secretary and PM Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah is anxiously waiting in the wings for impending organisational changes in the party.

While one of Modi’s loyalists, Anandiben Patel, has benefited, becoming the Gujarat CM, Shah has only been made chairman of the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) — a post vacated by Modi — so far. “I am humbled by your greetings & blessings. Looking forward to serve Gujarat Cricket,” Shah tweeted on Friday.

However, party leaders suggest he is slated for a bigger role. “After BJP’s impressive tally in Uttar Pradesh, he is the new star in the party,” said a senior BJP leader, underlining Shah’s importance in party’s organisational affairs from now on.

Since the last phase of voting on May 12, it has been a hectic phase for Shah. Upbeat over feedback from candidates and party workers from UP, he used the time till the counting of votes to spread the word in the media about the hard work that went into the state.

On the day results were announced, he addressed the media about the party’s stellar performance in UP to drive home the point to the party leadership.

Soon, he got busy with hectic preparations for Modi’s arrival in the Capital and then the PM’s visit to Varanasi, where he accompanied him. Then, he was involved in preparations for BJP’s parliamentary party meeting, followed by Modi’s goodbye visit to Gujarat when he resigned as the state CM.

Shah was also seen shuttling between Gujarat Bhavan, where Modi was camping, BJP president Rajnath Singh’s residence and Jhandelwalan, the local RSS office where top Sangh leaders were stationed, as part of pre-government formation consultations.

The schedule became less hectic when Modi was sworn-in on May 26. Since then, Shah has been focusing on recuperating and maintaining a healthy diet.

The next task before him is to identify candidates for 12 Assembly seats vacated by BJP MLAs after getting elected as LS members and find a suitable candidate for Mainpuri LS constituency vacated by SP chief Mulayam Singh.

People close to him indicate his eyes are firmly set on the impending organisational changes at the central party level. Sources said he would like clarity on his role as a new party chief could re-assign duties and entrust him with new responsibilities as BJP seeks to wrest Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand Assemblies.

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