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Amit Shah

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For Mayor of Ahmedabad, see Amit Shah (mayor).
Amit Shah
Amit Shah.jpg
President of the Bharatiya Janata Party
Assumed office
9 July 2014
Preceded by
Rajnath Singh
Member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly
for Naranpura
Assumed office
MLA, Sarkhej
In office
1997 2012
Preceded by
Harishchandra Lavjibhai Patel
Personal details
Amitbhai Anilchandra Shah
22 October 1964 (age 50)[1]
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Sonal Shah
Alma mater
Gujarat University
Amitbhai Anilchandra "Amit" Shah (born 22 October 1964) is an Indian politician
from Gujarat and the president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).[5]
Shah was elected as an MLA from Sarkhej in four consecutive elections: 1997 (bye
-election), 1998, 2002 and 2007. He is a close associate of Prime Minister Naren
dra Modi, and held a number portfolios in the state government during Modi's ten
ure as Chief Minister of Gujarat. He is the MLA from Naranpura, winning the cons
tituency with the second-largest margin of victory in the 2012 elections.
Shah was the BJP's in-charge for the India's largest and most politically crucia
l state Uttar Pradesh during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP and its allie
s swept the entire state, registering their best ever performance, by winning 73
out of 80 seats. As a result, Shah rose to national prominence and was appointe
d as the party's national president in July 2014.
Contents [hide]
1 Early life
2 Early political career
3 As a Gujarat minister
3.1 Fake encounter case
3.2 Other controversies
4 Arrest and exile
5 National politics
5.1 Uttar Pradesh general elections
5.2 BJP President
6 Electoral record
7 Personal life
8 References
Early life[edit]

Amit Shah was born in Mumbai, in a well-to-do Jain family.[2][3][4] His father A
nilchandra Shah, a businessman from Mansa, owned a successful PVC pipe business.
[6] He did his schooling in Mehsana and moved to Ahmedabad to study biochemistry
at CU Shah Science College. He graduated with a B.Sc. degree in biochemistry an
d joined his father's plastics business.[6] He also worked as a stockbroker and
in co-operative banks in Ahmedabad.[7]
Shah was involved with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since childhood, particip
ating in the neighbourhood shakhas (branches) as a boy. He formally became an RS
S swayamsevak (volunteer) during his college days in Ahmedabad.[8] He first met
Narendra Modi in 1982 through Ahmedabad RSS circles.[8] At that time, Modi was a
n RSS pracharak (propagator), working as in-charge of youth activities in city.[
Early political career[edit]
Amit Shah started his political career as a leader of the student wing of the RS
S, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, in 1983.[8][9] He joined BJP in 1986,
one year before Modi joined the party.[6] He became an activist of BJP's youth
wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in 1987. He then gradually rose in the
BJYM hierarchy, holding various posts including that of ward secretary, taluka s
ecretary, state secretary, vice-president, and general secretary.[8] He campaign
ed for Lal Krishna Advani in Gandhinagar during the 1991 Lok Sabha elections.[1]
In 1995, BJP formed its first government in Gujarat, with Keshubhai Patel as the
Chief Minister. At that time, BJP's main rival Indian National Congress was hig
hly influential in rural Gujarat. Modi and Shah worked together to decimate Cong
ress in the rural areas. Their strategy was to find the second most influential
leader in every village, and get him or her to join BJP. They created a network
of 8,000 influential rural leaders who had lost elections to the pradhan (villag
e chief) post in their village.[8]
Modi and Shah used the same strategy to reduce Congress' influence over the stat
e's powerful co-operatives, which play an important role in the state's economy.
In 1999, Shah was elected as the President of Ahmedabad District Cooperative Ba
nk (ADCB), the biggest cooperative bank in India. In Gujarat, such elections had
traditionally been won on the caste considerations, and the co-operative banks
had traditionally been controlled by Patels, Gaderias and Kshatriyas. Despite no
t belonging to any of these castes, Shah managed to win the election. At that ti
me, the bank was on the verge of collapsing, having accumulated losses of INR 36
crore. Shah turned around the bank's fortune within an year's time: the next ye
ar, the bank registered a profit of INR 27 crore. By 2014, the bank's profit had
increased to around INR 250 crore.[8] Shah also ensured that 11 of the Bank's 2
2 directors were BJP loyalists.[6]
Modi and Shah also sought to reduce the Congress hold over sports bodies in the
state.[8] Shah served as the President of Gujarat State Chess Association.[9] In
2009, he became the vice-president of the cash-rich Gujarat Cricket Association
(GCA), when Narendra Modi served as its President.[6] In 2014, after Modi becam
e Prime Minister of India, Shah became the President of GCA.
Modi, who had become a general secretary in the party's state unit by the early
1990s, used his influence to get bigger roles for Shah. He convinced Patel to ap
point Shah as the chairman of the Gujarat State Financial Corporation, a public
sector financial institution which finances small and medium-scale enterprises.
After Shankersinh Vaghela and some other leaders complained about Modi's growing
clout in the Gujarat government, the party leadership moved Modi out of Gujarat
, to the BJP headquarters in Delhi. During this time (1995-2001), Shah served as
Modi's informer in Gujarat.[6]
In 1997, Modi lobbied to get Shah a BJP ticket for the Gujarat Legislative Assem

bly by-election in Sarkhej.[10] Shah became an MLA in February 1997 after winnin
g the by-election.[11] He retained his seat in the 1998 Assembly elections.
As a Gujarat minister[edit]
In October 2001, BJP replaced Keshubhai Patel with Narendra Modi as the chief mi
nister of Gujarat, following allegations of inefficient administration. Over the
next few years, Modi and Shah gradually sidelined their political rivals.[6]
Amit Shah contested the 2002 Assembly election from the Sarkhej constituency in
Ahmedabad. He won by the highest margin among all candidates: 158,036 votes. In
the 2007 Assembly election, he won from Sarkhej again, improving his margin of v
During Narendra Modi's twelve-year tenure as the Gujarat CM, Shah emerged as one
of the most powerful leaders in Gujarat. After winning the 2002 elections, he b
ecame the youngest minister in the Modi government, and was given multiple portf
olios.[1] At one time, he held 12 portfolios: Home, Law and Justice, Prison, Bor
der Security, Civil Defence, Excise, Transport, Prohibition, Home Guards, Gram R
akshak Dal, Police Housing, and Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs.[6]
In 2003, the Congress-led Central Government announced its intention to repeal t
he Prevention of Terrorism Act, calling it regressive. Amit Shah piloted the Guj
arat Control of Organised Crime (Amendment) Bill through Gujarat state assembly
amid an opposition walk-out.[12] Shah also played an important role in convincin
g the Narendra Modi government to pass the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, whic
h made religious conversions difficult in the Hindu-majority Gujarat. His oppone
nts argued that the Act went against the rights guaranteed by the Indian Constit
ution, but Shah defended the bill, calling it a measure against forced conversio
ns. His efforts in getting the bill passed impressed the senior leadership of RS
Fake encounter case[edit]
In 2010, Amit Shah was accused of having orchestrated the extrajudicial killings
of a criminal Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and his criminal associate
Tulsiram Prajapati. According to the CBI, Sohrabuddin had been harassing some m
arble traders of Rajasthan, by demanding hefty protection money. Two of these ma
rble traders paid Amit Shah to eliminate Sohrabuddin. Amit Shah, along with the
police officers DIG DG Vanzara and SP Rajkumar Pandian, allegedly hatched a plan
to kill Sohrabuddin. In 2004, DCP Abhay Chudasama pressured Sohrabuddin and Tul
siram to fire at the office of two builder brothers - Raman Patel and Dashrath P
atel. This was done so that a fresh criminal case could be registered against So
hrabuddin and Tulsiram. The next year, the police picked up Sohrabuddin, Kausar
Bi and Tulsiram, and took them to a farmhouse near Ahmedabad. Sohrabuddin was ki
lled in a staged attack, with Vanzara claiming that he was a Lashkar-e-Taiba ope
rative. Kausar Bi was also killed and cremated for being a witness. Tulsiram was
initially let off, as he was an informer of Vanzara. He was eliminated later, a
fter Sohrabuddin's death was exposed as an extrajudicial killing by a journalist
. CBI claimed that Amit Shah had transferred Vanzara to various places in order
to facilitate these killings.[13][14]
Vanzara and several other officers were arrested in the case. As proof of Amit S
hah's involvement in the crimes, the CBI presented phone call records, which sho
wed that Shah had been in touch with the accused police officers when the victim
s were in their illegal custody. It also presented video tapes of Patel brothers
' conversations with two of Amit Shah's associates at Ahmedabad District Coopera
tive Bank (ADCB). In the tape, ADCB Director Yashpal Chudasama and its Chairman
Ajay Patel can be seen asking the brothers not to involve Amit Shah's name in th
e case. Yashpal Chudasama is the brother of the accused police officer Abhay Chu
dasama. According to CBI, Abhay used to run an extortion racket, with Sohrabuddi
n as his henchman.[15] The Patel brothers, who had several criminal cases agains

t them, also spoke against Amit Shah. They claimed that the police had falsely i
mplicated them into various cases between 2001-2005 in order to extort money fro
m them. They also claimed that Vanzara made them talk to Amit Shah over phone, a
nd Amit Shah threatened them into giving a statement against Sohrabuddin and Tul
siram. They further stated that, in 2006, Ajay Patel and Abhay Chudasama called
them again on behalf of Amit Shah, asking them to give certain statements to CBI
Shah dismissed all the accusations against him as politically motivated. He poin
ted out that during his tenure as the Home Minister, Gujarat was one of the stat
es with minimum number of police encounters in the country. He stated that he ke
pt in touch with the police officers on the phone in the normal course of his du
ties as the home minister.[17] He accused the Congress of misusing CBI, and clai
med that only the encounter cases in Gujarat were being scrutinized when the res
t of the country had witnessed around 1500 encounters during the same period.[18
] He said that if CBI had any solid evidence against him, it would have been abl
e to frame charges against him.[6] In 2010, Police Commissioner Geeta Johri, who
first investigated the case, claimed that CBI was pressurizing her to falsely i
mplicate Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin case.[19]
DG Vanzara was also accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, but the CBI
gave Amit Shah a clean chit in the case.[20]
See also: Death of Soharbuddin Sheikh
Other controversies[edit]
Shah was accused of sidelining the police officers who testified against the Guj
arat government in cases related to the fake encounters and the 2002 riots. Addi
tional DGP R. B. Sreekumar, who gave evidence to the Nanavati-Shah commission, w
as allegedly denied promotion. Rahul Sharma, who handed over phone records of po
lice officers and politicians to the Commission, was charged with violating the
Official Secrets Act. Additional DGP Kuldeep Sharma alleged that he had been mov
ed from the police department to Gujarat State Sheep and Wool Development Corpor
ation, after he accused Shah of taking a bribe of Rs 2.5 crore to bail out a con
man who fraudulently withdrew Rs 1,600 crore from the Madhavpura Mercantile Coop
erative Bank. Kuldeep Sharma was later made advisor to the central home ministry
by the Congress government. His brother Pradeep Sharma was imprisoned in Gujara
t from 2010 to 2011 on corruption charges. The brothers claim that the Gujarat G
overnment was harassing them.[6] Shah has also been accused of manipulated the e
lectoral constituency delimitation exercise in Gujarat to favour BJP.[10]
Later, in 2013, Shah was accused of having ordered illegal surveillance on a wom
an in 2009, during his tenure as a home minister. The investigative websites Cob
rapost and Gulail released a set of taped audio conversations between Amit Shah
and police officer GL Singhal. The tapes had been submitted to the CBI in the Is
hrat Jahan fake encounter case, and were leaked to these portals. The calls deta
il how the state machinery was used to surveil the woman and the IAS officer Pra
deep Sharma (who was suspended by the Gujarat Government). Both Singhal and Shah
repeatedly refer to a higher authority as Saheb, believed to be the Chief Minis
ter Narendra Modi.[21] BJP's political opponents demanded a probe in this "Snoop
gate" case. However, in May 2014, the woman approached the Supreme Court and sta
ted that the surveillance on her was based on a "personal request", and she was
thankful to the Gujarat government for ensuring her safety. She requested the co
urt to block any investigation, stating that it would violate her privacy.[22]
Shah denied all the accusations against him, calling them political propaganda b
y his opponents.[6]
Arrest and exile[edit]
Amit Shah was arrested on 25 July 2010 in connection with the Sohrabuddin case.
He was charged with the murder, extortion and kidnapping among other charges. At

one time, Shah was considered as one of the main contenders for the Gujarat Chi
ef Minister's post. However, his political career was hurt by the arrest. Many l
eaders in the Gujarat government distanced themselves from him. His fellow minis
ters criticized him as an autocratic person, who did not have good relations wit
h his colleagues.[9]
When Shah applied for bail, the CBI raised concerns that he would use his politi
cal power to prevent justice from taking its course.[6] The Gujarat High Court g
ranted him bail three months after his arrest, on Friday, 29 October 2010. Howev
er, the next day, when the courts were closed, Justice Aftab Alam took a petitio
n at his residence to bar him from entering Gujarat.[8] Shah was thus forcibly e
xiled from the state from 2010 to 2012.[6] He and his wife moved to a room in Gu
jarat Bhavan, Delhi.[8] Later, the Supreme Court canceled his bail on a CBI plea
. In September 2012, the Supreme Court granted him bail, and allowed him to retu
rn to Gujarat. He then contested and won the 2012 Assembly election from Naranpu
ra constituency (the Sarkhej constituency had ceased to exist after delimitation
National politics[edit]
After Narendra Modi became the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP, Shah's influe
nce also increased in the party. The two have been accused of sidelining other B
JP leaders such as Lal Krishna Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi and Ja
swant Singh.[6] By this time, Shah had gained recognition as an excellent electi
on campaign manager, and had been dubbed a "modern day Chanakya and master strat
egist".[23] Shah was appointed as a BJP general secretary, and was given charge
of Uttar Pradesh (UP). He was chosen not by Modi, but by Rajnath Singh, who had
been impressed by the skills that Shah displayed in wresting control of various
Congress-controlled organizations in Gujarat.[8] The decision did not go well do
wn with many in the party, who saw him as a liability owing to the criminal char
ges against him. Political analysts such as Shekhar Gupta termed the decision as
a blunder.[24]
Uttar Pradesh general elections[edit]
Amit Shah's political career, which had tanked after his arrest in 2010, revived
after BJP's massive victory in the 2014 general election. In UP, where Shah was
the in-charge, BJP and its allies won 73 out of 80 seats. Shah had been made in
-charge of BJP's UP campaigning on 12 June 2013, less than an year before the el
ections.[6] Since February 2012, Shah had spent considerable time in UP, trying
to understand the reasons for the Samajwadi Party's winning performance in the 2
012 UP Assembly elections. Shah realized that the voters were dissatisfied with
the Samajwadi Party, which he believed had failed to keep its election promises
after the win. He also took advantage of the OBC voters' displeasure with the UP
government's decision to create 4.5% reservation for the minorities within the
27% OBC quota.[6]
Shah personally oversaw the candidate selection, emphasizing on the candidate's
local clout and winning potential as the only criteria for selection, as opposed
to the candidate's party loyalty or ideology. His team estimated that only 35%
of the BJP's traditional supporters had actually voted in the UP elections. Ther
efore, he focused on door-to-door campaigning at the booth-level. He set up a 7to-10 member management committee for each of the 140,000 voting booths in the s
tate. For each booth, his team collated lists of voters and reached out to them.
[6] Shah's team used 450 GPS-enabled mobile vans ("video raths") to reach out to
the masses in remote areas, where media reach was negligible.[25] Shah personal
ly covered 76 out of 80 Lok Sabha constituencies. He also insisted on Modi conte
sting election from Varanasi.[26]
Shah convinced Modi to utilize RSS volunteers for grassroots campaigning, which
proved highly beneficial for BJP.[26] Although RSS officially did not get involv
ed in electioneering, Shah used its volunteers to mobilize and monitor the campa

igners. For example, the RSS volunteers would cross-check a BJP worker's claims
of having targeted a given number of households.[6] Shah also helped organize "m
ega rallies" for Modi. Like other major political parties, BJP provisioned one v
an per village to transport people to the rally venue. However, unlike others, S
hah decided that BJP would not provide money for hiring these vehicles. Instead,
he declared that the party workers organizing the transportation would be made
the leader of the BJP unit in their respective villages. This strategy ensured t
hat a number of local village leaders developed a stake in Modi's victory.[8]
Critics accused Amit Shah of trying to polarize the UP voters along the religiou
s lines. While visiting Ayodhya for a meeting with the party's local committee,
he raised the Ram Janmabhoomi temple issue (see Ayodhya dispute). BJP fielded th
ree candidates accused of inciting violence during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
These were seen as attempts to target the party's Hindu nationalist base.[6] An
FIR was registered against Shah for a speech in Muzaffarnagar, where he urged t
he voters to seek "revenge" through their votes.[10] However, he has also taken
advantage of Shia Muslim antipathy towards Sunni Muslims in Lucknow.[27]
Shah also played an important role in BJP's election campaigning strategy outsid
e Uttar Pradesh. He focused on building Modi's larger-than-life image as a stron
g leader. At times, he opposed even Modi on several strategic campaigning issues
. For example, when Modi praised his opponent and prospective post-poll ally Mam
ata Banerjee, Shah insisted that BJP must not divert from the "Modi-versus-all"
tactic.[26] Shah was also responsible for forging BJP's alliances with regional
parties like Pattali Makkal Katchi.[10]
BJP President[edit]
In July 2014, BJP's Central Parliamentary Board unanimously approved Amit Shah's
appointment as the President of the party.[28] As a prominent politician, he re
ceives Z plus security Cover from Government.[29]
Electoral record[edit]
Since 1989, Shah has fought 28 elections to the Gujarat State Assembly and vario
us local bodies. As of 2014, he has never lost an election.[8]
Result Votes
% Votes
Gujarat Legislative Assembly (by-election)
Sarkhej Won
56.10% [30]
Gujarat Legislative Assembly
Sarkhej Won
193,373 69.81% [31]
Gujarat Legislative Assembly
Sarkhej Won
288,327 66.98% [32]
Gujarat Legislative Assembly
Sarkhej Won
407,659 68.00% [33]
Gujarat Legislative Assembly
103,988 69.19%
Personal life[edit]
Amit Shah is married to Sonal Shah and the couple have a son named Jay. Shah was
very close to his mother, who died from an illness on 8 June 2010.[6][8] People
close to Shah have described him as someone who does not like to socialize much
^ Jump up to: a b c Subhash Mishra and Pratul Sharma (7 July 2013). "In UP, Shah
prepares for Modi ahead of 2014 battle". Indian Express.
^ Jump up to: a b "Amit Shah rises". The Economist. 2014-06-09.
^ Jump up to: a b Once behind Modi, Jains question Bill, Indian Express
^ Jump up to: a b What makes Amit Shah so powerful in Gujarat, Aakar Patel
Jump up ^ "Amit Shah elected new BJP president". Patrika Group. 9 July 2014. Ret
rieved 9 July 2014.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Poornima Joshi (1 April
2014). "The Organiser". Caravan.
Jump up ^ Sheela Bhatt (28 July 2010). "What Amit Shah's fall really means". red
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n PR Ramesh (11 April 2014). "His Master s
Mind". Open.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e "Who is Amit Shah?". NDTV. 12 June 2013.
^ Jump up to: a b c d "The importance of Amit Shah". Mumbai Mirror. 7 April 2014
Jump up ^ Andy Marino (8 April 2014). Narendra Modi: A Political Biography. Harp
erCollins Publishers India. pp. 76 . ISBN 978-93-5136-218-0.
Jump up ^ "Gujarat keeps a terror law spare". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 3
June 2004.
Jump up ^ "The journalist who cracked Gujarat fake encounter case".
25 April 2007.
Jump up ^ Abhishek Sharan (26 July 2010). " Cop transfers part of Shah plan ". Hindu
stan Times.
Jump up ^ Bhupendra Chaubey (26 July 2010). "CBI 'proof' against Shah: Sohrabudd
in tapes". CNN-IBN.
Jump up ^ "He (Amit Shah) smiled and said Sohrabuddin had himself closed the opt
ion of keeping himself alive...". Indian Express. 24 November 2011.
Jump up ^ Aman Sharma (14 November 2013). "CBI to file crucial chargesheets in G
ujarat fake encounters' case". Economic times.
Jump up ^ Sheela Bhatt (8 October 2013). "'Encounter cases are politically motiv
ated; non-Gujarat encounters are never scrutinised'".
Jump up ^ J. Venkatesan (29 August 2010). "CBI putting pressure on me: Geeta Joh
ri". The Hindu.
Jump up ^ "CBI clean chit for Amit Shah in Ishrat Jahan encounter case". The Tim
es of India. 7 May 2014.
Jump up ^ "News Detail". Retrieved 2013-12-04.
Jump up ^ Deepshikha Ghosh (6 May 2014). "Snoopgate: 'Thankful' for Surveillance
, Woman Tells Supreme Court". NDTV.
Jump up ^ Amit Shah set for bigger role if BJP wins, Vinay Kumar, April 12, 2014
Jump up ^ Shekhar Gupta (8 April 2014). Anticipating India. HarperCollins Publis
hers India. p. 369. ISBN 978-93-5136-256-2.
Jump up ^ Yojna Gosai (18 May 2014). "Sunday Interview: We had 450 video raths w
ith GPS and I d get feedback on my mobile, says Amit Shah". Deccan Chronicle.
^ Jump up to: a b c Prarthna Gahilote (26 May 2014). "Judgement Day Feast For Th
e Shah Of Shahs". Outlook.
Jump up ^ The enablers: Narendra Modi relies most on two men who could hardly be
less alike,
Jump up ^ "BJP strategist & Narendra Modi's confidant Amit Shah appointed party
president". Economic Times. 9 July 2014.
Jump up ^ "BJP Leader Amit Shah to get Z-plus security from Central Govt". IANS. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
Jump up ^ "Bye-Elections 1997: Sarkhej". Election Commission of India. Retrieved
27 June 2014.
Jump up ^ "Constituency Data - Summary: Sarkhej - 1998". Retrieved 2
6 June 2014.
Jump up ^ "State Elections 2002: 64-Sarkhej Constituency of Gujarat". Election C
ommission of India. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
Jump up ^ "State Elections 2007: 64-Sarkhej Constituency of Gujarat". Election C
ommission of India. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
Jump up ^ "Form-21E: 45-Naranpura". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 26 J
une 2014.
Jump up ^ Deepal Trivedi (23 July 2010). "Shrewd Modi loyalist able to manage eve
rything ". Asian Age.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Rajnath Singh President of the Bharatiya Janata Party
2014 present
[show] v t e
Bharatiya Janata Party

Categories: 1964 birthsGujarati peopleGujarat University alumniIndian JainsLivin

g peopleMembers of the Gujarat Legislative AssemblyPeople from AhmedabadPresiden
ts of Bharatiya Janata Party
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