Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah will contest the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat, senior BJP leader J.P. Nadda told reporters after the party’s parliamentary board meeting on Wednesday. This is the first time Shah would contest an election to become a Member of Parliament.
According to the sources, after Shah’s run for the Rajya Sabha was announced, many in the party felt he would be made Defence Minister once elected.
However, Amit Shah had been offered an important ministry by Modi when he was sworn in as PM and the two jointly decided that it was vital for him to continue as BJP President. Modi’s faith in Shah has paid off in ample measure as the duo have pretty much wiped the floor with the opposition in one state after another.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to bring his most trusted lieutenant and BJP chief Amit Shah to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat is being seen with a lot of interest by the party rank and file as well as the other political parties as it will give a boost to the party’s performance in Parliament, especially in the Upper House.
This announcement comes at a time when, of the total 11 Rajya Sabha members from the state, the term of three of them that is Smriti Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya from BJP and Congress, Ahmed Patel is coming to an end on August 18.
The BJP’s election committee cleared these names at a meeting, also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the party headquarters on Wednesday.
Amit Shah filed his nomination papers on friday in Gujarat. He has also ensured that Congress strategist Ahmed Patel has a tough fight in his bid for a fifth Rajya Sabha term.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is one of the two major political parties in India. As of
2016, it is the country’s largest political party in terms of representation in the
national parliament and state assemblies, and it is the world’s largest party in terms
of primary membership.
The BJP is a right wing party, with close ideological and organisational links to the
Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Amit Shah is an Indian politician from Gujarat and the current President of the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who was appointed as the party’s national president in
July 2014. Shah was involved with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since
childhood, participating in the neighbourhood branches as a boy. He formally
became an RSS swayamsevak volunteer during his college days in Ahmedabad.
The BJP has also decided to field Smriti Irani from Gujarat for the August 8 elections to the Upper House of Parliament.
BJP chief Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and newly inducted former Congress MLA Balwantsinh Rajput, who resigned on Thursday and joined the saffron party, filed their nomination papers for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls on Friday.
While Shah and Irani were nominated by the central leadership a few days back, Rajput, who was Congress’ chief whip in the Assembly, was declared the BJP’s third candidate shortly after he quit both from the House and the party.
Rajput is pitted against senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who has been re-nominated for the 8 August Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat.
It is believed that the resignations have been orchestrated at the behest of former Congress strongman Shankersinh Vaghela, who had resigned from the party as also as the Leader of Opposition last week. He, however, continues to be an MLA, and said he would resign from the Assembly after the Rajya Sabha poll.
According to the sources, after the trio filed their nominations today, BJP in charge for Gujarat, Bhupendra Yadav exuded confidence that all the party candidates will win the election easily.
When asked about the possibility of Vaghela joining the BJP, Yadav said it is up to him to decide.
“Vaghela will have to take that call. However, the points raised by him while leaving the party speak volumes about how the Congress is functioning. Our doors are open for all those who believe in PM Narendra Modi’s development agenda,” Yadav told reporters.
In the 182-member Assembly, the strength of Congress has gone down to 51, as six of its MLAs have resigned since Thursday. While three MLAs, including Rajput, quit on Thursday and joined the ruling party, as many others resigned on Friday.
The final decision will as usual be taken only between Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who enjoy a near perfect partnership and understanding, extremely unusual in politics.
A reshuffle is long overdue with important ministries being held as dual charges. This includes Finance Minister Arun Jaitley doubling up as Raksha Mantri, Dr Harshvardhan holding Environment as an additional portfolio, and Smriti Irani taking on Information and Broadcasting after Venkaiah Naidu was named the BJP’s choice for Vice President.
It is unlikely that Shah will give up his precious job of ‘Adhyaksh-ji‘, but will instead use the public pulpit provided by the Rajya Sabha to build a national profile for himself as a hardline BJP leader who can take on the opposition with aggression and expertise.