BJP president Amit Shah Saturday took charge of the Union Home Ministry. The new home minister spent most of his day meeting visitors from the BJP, his junior ministers and officials apart from governors from Maharashtra and Kerala.
Sources said Shah was briefed by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Joint Secretaries of all the 19 divisions in the ministry during a meeting which was scheduled at 4 pm. All officers are said to have prepared a presentation detailing the outline, functions, achievements and challenges concerning their divisions.
Shah, who took oath as a Union minister for the first time on Thursday, was welcomed by the home ministry staff in the traditional way. The main gate had been decked up with flowers on Friday itself, the red carpets on the stairs had been vacuum cleaned and bouquets of fresh flowers prepared.
Shah arrived at the Home Ministry at around 12.15 pm and was received by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Jain. Once in his office, Shah was introduced to various officials of the Home Ministry and soon a series of visits began.
The first to reach the ministry, even before Shah arrived, were BJP’s national media managers Anil Baluni and Sanjay Mayukh. Both left after congratulating “Adhyaksh ji” for his new innings. This was followed by visits from Ministers of State (Home) Nityanand Rai and G Kishan Reddy who presented bouquets to Shah and spent a few minutes with him.
Following the meeting, when Rai was asked what he thought would be the biggest challenges for the new team at the ministry, he said, “Amit Shah is that name before which no challenge can survive.”
On Saturday, when asked about his statement by media, he said, “There is nothing wrong with demanding NRC for the entire country. There should be a record of who are citizens of this country. In all countries, there is a record of citizens. Why shouldn’t it be there in India.”
He, however, clarified that his demand was not religion-centric. “I did not make the statement on the basis of any particular religion. NIA and state police are arresting youth in Hyderabad… there are people involved in cross border terrorism and terrorist sympathisers in Hyderabad. Is it not true that these people are being arrested? So many of them are in jail. It’s not about Muslims. There is no link between terrorism and religion. BJP never makes such a connection,” he said.
Notably, NRC is among the key issues that BJP has been pushing and even the new Home Minister has made a case for it in several of his speeches in the run-up to 2019 polls where he termed illegal Bangladeshi immigrants as “termites”. It is also among the top agendas in BJP manifesto which says it would be implemented in other areas of the country.
Among other key people who met Amit Shah on Friday were Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao and Kerala Governor P Sathashivam.
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Rawat and BJP General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao also visited the Home Minister.
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