Taking charge of the Union Home Ministry on Saturday, Amit Shah held a series of meetings, including with governors of states, his junior ministers and BJP leaders. Among those who called on him was Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, who briefed Shah on the security situation in the state and the preparations for the coming Amarnath Yatra.
In a tweet in Hindi, soon after taking charge, Shah said, “Country’s security and people’s welfare are Modi government’s priorities. Under the leadership of Modi ji, I will try my best to fulfil these priorities.” He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for showing faith in him by giving him the Home Ministry.
At his meeting with senior officials, Shah discussed issues concerning the ministry and was given a detailed presentation. The newly appointed Ministers of State for Home G K Reddy and Nityanand Rai, who also took charge on Saturday, were part of the hour-long meeting.
Sources said Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and joint secretaries of all the 19 divisions in the ministry had prepared presentations on the functions, achievements and challenges concerning their divisions. “Today’s presentations were more of a familiarisation exercise. The Home Minister has asked all the joint secretaries to make detailed presentations and he will go through them one by one beginning Monday,” a Home Ministry official said.
Shah arrived at the ministry around 12.15 pm, and was received by Gauba and Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Jain. The BJP’s national media managers Anil Baluni and Sanjay Mayukh reached before Shah, who continues to be the party president, in order to congratulate him.
Following his meeting with Shah, when Rai was asked what would be the biggest challenge for the new team at the ministry, he said, “Amit Shah is that name before which no challenge can survive.”
MoS Reddy reiterated his demand for implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country. Asked about his statement to this effect on Friday, he said, “There is nothing wrong with it. There should be a record of who the citizens of this country are. In all countries there is a record of citizens. Why shouldn’t it be there in India?”
He added that his demand was not religion-centric. “I did not make the statement on the basis of any particular religion. The 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. The BJP never makes such a connection,” he said.
The NRC was one of the key issues in the BJP manifesto, and Shah had made a case for it in his speeches during the Lok Sabha campaign, terming illegal immigrants as “termites”.
Apart from governors of Kerala and Maharashtra, others who met Shah included Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat and BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao.
Governor Malik said the issue of Assembly elections in J&K did not figure in his talks with Shah as this was under the purview of the Election Commission.