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Amit Shah completes three years as BJP chief

In his tenure so far, the Amit Shah has steered the saffron party into becoming the world’s largest political outfit as well as ensuring that it has won most elections contested.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2017 07:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Amit Shah,BJP,Lok Sabha elections
BJP president Amit Shah flashes the victory sign after casting his vote in Gujarat Rajya Sabha election in Gandhinagar on Tuesday. The party chief won a seat in the Upper House. (PTI Photo)

BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday completes three years in office, a period that saw the party expanding in size and winning uncharted territories. Shah is credited with making the BJP world’s largest political outfit, bringing in synergy between the government and the party and taking up some ambitious programmes such as having party offices in every district of the country.

Party leaders are quick to point out that under him the BJP has not only won most elections it contested, it also saw its vote percentage rise even in the polls it lost, like in Bihar. Barring Bihar and Delhi assembly elections, which the party lost, the BJP has won every election since 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

As Shah completes three years, the BJP is in power in 13 states on its own, and 5 more with allies. It had never been in power in states such as Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir. Haryana and Maharashtra, too, have seen a BJP chief minister for the first time. A three fourths majority in Uttar Pradesh, country’s most populous state, was Shah’s biggest electoral success.

Shah brought with him to BJP a work culture that placed premium on delivery. New and young faces were key organisational assignment. An extensive training programme was launched for BJP workers and more than 8 lakh of them were trained on ideological and political matters. A front exclusively for the OBC was set up for the first time in the party.

Unlike the previous NDA regime, the synergy between the government and the party was seamless this time. It was Shah’s responsibility to effectively take “Modi’s achievement” to people and ensure no discordant voices emerge from within the BJP. He did that job well.

In return, Shah had a free run in running the BJP and even picking chief ministers. Shah cemented his position as party’s decision maker, which got reflected in the removal of then Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel.

Shah was re-elected as the BJP chief in 2016, and his full three-year term ends in December 2018. The next two years will see general election for the Lok Sabha, and Shah is most likely to preside over the party during that phase.

First Published: Aug 09, 2017 07:42 IST