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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Amit Shah rules out joining Modi govt, says happy being BJP president

It’s being speculated that Shah has been given the Rajya Sabha nomination to pave the way for his entry into the Union ministry.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2017 08:23 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
BJP president Amit Shah says he is not joining Narendra Modi- led NDA government at the Centre.
BJP president Amit Shah says he is not joining Narendra Modi- led NDA government at the Centre. (HT File Photo )

BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday said he is happy being the party president and ruled out joining Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.

Shah’s filing of nomination for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat triggered speculation about him joining the Union ministry.

The buzz about possible ministry expansion has been generated as many ministers are currently holding multiple crucial portfolios in the National Democratic Alliance government.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley is holding the additional charge of the defence ministry since Manohar Parrikar left the government in April to take over as chief minister of Goa.

M Venkaiah Naidu, who was holding information and broadcasting, urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation portfolios, has been nominated as NDA’s candidate for the post of vice president creating more vacancies.

Science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan is holding the additional environment portfolio since the demise of Anil Dave.

There are talks that Shah, Modi’s closest confidant, was given the Rajya Sabha nomination to pave the way for his induction into the Union ministry.

“I am very happy with my job and discharging my responsibilities with full devotion, you don’t speculate,” a vividly relaxed Shah said while interacting with media persons on Monday, the concluding day of his three-day Lucknow visit.

Shah also rubbished the allegations that under him the BJP is creating rifts in the Opposition ranks be it in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat.

The Congress recently flew out a group of its MLAs from Gujarat to Karnataka ahead of August 8 Rajya Sabha elections, accusing the BJP of trying to lure them.

“Accha chalo Gujarat mein toh hamari sarkaar hai, par inhoney Bengaluru mein kyon vidhayakon ko kamrey main band kar rakha hai (Ok, it’s a BJP government in Gujarat but why have they kept their MLAs confined to a room in Congress-ruled Karanataka’s capital Bengaluru,” Shah asked.

“Arrey bhai, wahan toh unhe ghoomney do (at least let them move freely there),” he said with a smile.

He was flanked by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma.

“Hamne koi dal nahi toda hai (we have not broken any party),” he said, denying BJP had any role in the breakup of Bihar’s grand alliance

“What could we do when Nitish Kumar himself decided to resign and sever ties with the RJD? Was I expected to stop him from doing so at the gun point? We did not have a hand in the developments there as Nitishji wasn’t interested in continuing with those accused of corruption,” Shah said, referring to recent change of political equation in Bihar.

On Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s allegation that the BJP is indulging in “political corruption” in UP by engineering resignations of his party MLCs, Shah said he wasn’t aware of any such move by the BJP.

Asked if the SP MLCs, who recently left the party, would join the BJP and would get “return gift” from him, he said, “I don’t know whether they would be joining the BJP? The local unit might have planned something. But, as far as return gift is concerned, this is not BJP’s culture.”

Several SP and BSP leaders had joined the BJP ahead of the 2017 assembly polls in UP and many of them were given tickets and are now ministers in Adityanath government.

However, Shah said those leaders after quitting their parties had contested an election, there by indicating that his party had not poached on opposition lawmakers in the middle of their term.

He denied any plan to induct disgruntled Samajwadi Party MLA Shivpal Yadav into the BJP. Shivpal and his nephew Akhilesh Yadav are the central characters in the bitter intra-party conflict in the SP.

On the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi land dispute in Ayodhya, Shah said his party is in favour of building a temple at the disputed site either through a court order or by creating a consensus on the issue.

First Published: Jul 31, 2017 16:27 IST

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