Despite the murder taint hanging fire over Gujarat strongman Amit Shah, BJP has appointed him the new general secretary and thereby given him an important position on the national stage.
This has been possible despite many in BJP voicing concern about Shah’s controversial image and the message that will be sent to public that will impact both allies and voters negatively. But muscle-flexing by Narendra Modi has forced top party-men to fall in line.
The controversial Shah has criminal cases registered against him especially in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter – Sohrab and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly killed during this encounter in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat in 2005. CBI says Shah is the ‘kingpin’ in this controversy.
Shah was jailed for three months before being granted bail but is banned from returning to Ahmadabad. He is currently an MLA from Naranpura, having won his seat in last assembly poll.
The CBI has named him as the mastermind behind the abduction and fake encounters of alleged terrorist Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and accomplice Tulsiram Prajapati.
Shah has in the past managed several of LK Advani’s election campaigns from the Gandhinagar (Lok Sabha constituency). He was then appointed Chairman of The Gujarat State Finance Corporation Limited, the youngest person in this post. He was later appointed chairman of the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank.
In 2003, after the BJP won a second term, Narendra Modi inducted Shah as the youngest minister in the cabinet, and gave him an unprecedented ten portfolios. This included the Home ministry, which looks after the police apparatus in the state. He quickly emerged as Modi’s right-hand man in the new party.