Amit Shah is an Indian politician belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He is a prominent BJP leader with plenty of experience in his field. Amit Shah is currently serving as the National President of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He has played a key role in the party's emergence as a dominant force in Indian politics and has become the face of an all new BJP.
Amit Shah (Amitbhai Anilchandra Shah) was born to Smt. Kusumben and Shri Anilchandra Shah, an affluent Gujarati family on 22 October in the year 1964 in Mumbai. His father Anilchandra Shah used to run a business dealing in PVC pipes. He lived and completed his schooling in his paternal village Maansa, Gujarat until the age of 16, when upon completion of his school education, his family shifted to Ahmedabad. And pursued his graduation in bio-chemistry from CU Shah Science College in Ahmedabad . As a young boy he was always inspired by the stories of the great patriots of the nation and dreamt of working for the progress of the motherland. He was especially inspired and influenced by the nationalist spirit and vision of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) and became its active member in Ahmedabad.
After joining the RSS, Amit Shah worked for the student’s wing of the RSS – the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad for over four years. It was during this period that BJP emerged as the political arm of RSS and Amit Bhai became a member of the party in 1984-85. His first assignment was that of a poll agent at Ahmedabad’s Naranpura ward, followed by secretaryship of the Naranpura ward. Successful completion of these missions earned him the higher responsibilities as National treasurer of BJYM and then as the State secretary and State Vice-President of Gujarat BJP.
His abilities to keep his ear to the ground and establish deep and connect with party workers enabled him to hone his organizational capabilities. These abilities came to fore and to the notice of people when as in charge of the Amhedabad city; he successfully handled mass mobilization of people in favour of the Ram Janambhoomi Movement and EktaYatra.These mass movements were followed by the Lok Sabha Elections in 1989, where in he was entrusted with the task of managing the election campaign of BJP’s mass leader Shri L.K. Advani from Ahmedabad constituency. This was an association that would last for over two decades with Amit Bhai formulating electoral strategy for Shri Advani till the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. He was also the election in-charge of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he contested from Gandhinagar. Amit Bhai had earned a reputation for himself as an astute election manager.
The political upheaval in Gujarat during 1990 established fortunes and BJP emerged as only opposition party to the Congress in the state. BJP’s first stint in political power in Gujarat was relatively short lived as the party that stormed into power in 1995 fell in 1997. Yet, Amit Shah, who was made the chairman of GSFC, turned around the company and got it listed on the Stock Exchanges. This was Amit Shah’s first foray into the election arena, as in the by- election that followed the fall of BJP government; he successfully contested assembly polls from Sarkhej winning the seat by a margin of nearly 25,000 votes. Realizing the pressing need to regain the confidence of voters and mandate from the people, Amit Shah dedicated himself to the task of strengthening the party in the state. At the same time, he continued to discharge his duties as a MLA and even won from the same seat by over 1.30 lakh votes in 1998. Amit Shah is married to Sonal Shah. The couple has a son Jay Shah.
Amit Shah handled his father's business for some time. He briefly worked as a stock-broker and also with co-operative banks in Ahmedabad. In 1998, barring a single Cooperative Bank, all other cooperative institutions were controlled by the Congress. After that BJP started to win elections for cooperative banks, milk dairies, and agriculture market committees. These successive victories established BJP political strength in rural areas. Amit Shah was appointed as the president of the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB) in 2000. The ADCB was in deep trouble and required visionary leadership. The bank had suffered a loss of around Rs. 36 crore and was on the verge of shutting down. Amit Shah took charge of the bank and turned its fortune the largest district cooperative bank in Asia within a year's time. It recorded profits of Rs. 27 crore the next year. Amit Shah also ensured that most of the bank's directors remained loyal to the BJP. After this success Amit shah was made the national convener of BJP’s cooperative committee in 2001.
Narendra Modi was appointed as the chief minister of Gujarat in October 2001 and Keshubhai Patel was removed by BJP high command on account of poor administrative performance. Consequently, Amit Shah also gained political prominence in the state. Both Modi and Shah managed to sideline their political rivals.
In 2002, The party stormed into power in the state under Chief Minister Shri. Narendra Modi. This time too, Amit Shah won Sarkhej for the third time in a row with a margin of close to 1,60,000 votes. Amti Shah was given the key ministries of Home, Transport, and Prohibition.Shah was given multiple ministerial portfolios simultaneously in the Narendra Modi government after his victory in the 2002 elections. In 2004, the UPA-led central government decided to repeal the Prevention of Terror Acts (POTA) law, but Amit Shah managed to get the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GCOC) Bill passed in the state assembly. Amit Shah also played a key role in the passing of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act which would make religious conversions difficult. The bill faced a lot of opposition but Shah defended it successfully.
In 2007, Sarkhej electorate again showered its faith on Amit Bhai with a victory margin of a massive 2,32,832 votes. He returned to the state cabinet and was given responsibility of a number of key portfolios including Home, Transport, Prohibition, Parliamentary Affairs, Law, and Excise.
The year 2010 was one of unprecedented challenges. The UPA government charges of a encounter against Amit Shah and he was imprisoned. His innocence was vindicated later Gujarat High Court says there was no prima facie case against Amit Shah. He was released on bail within 90 days and the politics of vendetta was badly defeated. Later, a special CBI Court also absolved Amit Shah of all charges on the ground that the case was “politically motivated”.
In 2012, he won his fifth straight victory from the newly carved Narayanpura assembly by over 60,000 votes. The party recognized his electoral talent, he was appointed as the party's General Secretary and in 2013, Amit Shah was chosen by the then party president Rajnath Singh as in-charge for Uttar Pradesh. This was a high point in his long and arduous political journey. As one who was known as a master of electoral mathematics with an eye for smallest of data points, Amit Shah knew the importance of a win in Uttar Pradesh. Under Amit Shah's supervision, BJP did exceptionally well in Uttar Pradesh registering victory by occupying 73 out of 80 parliamentary seats in the state. With this big push from Uttar Pradesh, BJP crossed the 272-mark in Lok Sabha with a majority on their own strength.
Amit Shah's political career was infused with a new life after BJP's thumping victory in the 2014 Indian General Elections. Narendra Modi's accession as the Prime Minister of India increased Shah's influence in the party. The party high command praised him for his strategic and organisational abilities.
The BJP recognized the commitment, hard work and organizational capabilities of Amit Shah In July 2014, appointed him as the BJP's national president replacing veteran party leader Rajnath Singh. With more power comes more responsibility. In less than one year of taking over as BJP’s National President, Amit Shah travelled to each and every state in the country to push the party’s ideology and enlarge party membership. The results, He made BJP world’s largest political party with over 10 crore members. His resolve to strengthen BJP did not end he initiated number of programs to spread party ideology like “Mahasampark Abhiyan” aimed at engaging newly acquired members in party’s programs.
The combination of PM Modi’s leadership and Amit Shah’s well-crafted election strategies resulted in BJP winning four of the five assembly elections held during first year of his tenure as party president. While the party had its chief ministers in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana, it formed coalition government in Jammu & Kashmir. He was re-elected to the BJP's national president post unanimously in January, 2016. And in year 2017 he also elected as member of Rajyasabha from Gujrat.
His policies were appreciated by many as going beyond the norms. An avid chess player, listening to classical music, playing chess and watching a game of cricket, he has keen interest in “stage performances” also as he himself performed on several occasions during his student life.