The Amit Shah Factor- How Modi’s Decision to Make Him the Party President is Making a Difference

Written by: Pathikrit Payne
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The masterstroke of Narendra Modi in making Amit Shah the President of BJP is now becoming evident. Generally it mostly happens that when a political party wins a major election, be it at the state or centre, most of the top level office bearers of the party's organisation tend to join the Government in key ministerial posts.

Invariably, as a result of this, the organizational strength tends to get weakened as governance takes centrestage. As a result of this, often if not always, parties have failed to repeat their stellar performance in subsequent elections.

Where Amit Shah Makes a Difference

Amit Shah's political acumen and organization skills, his incredible aptitude in terms of understanding the grass root level issues and accordingly create a spin for elections in addition to this dexterity in terms of choosing winnable candidates, have all been proved by BJP's stellar performance in Uttar Pradesh during the Union Elections where the party got 72 seats in UP alone.

Without that performance, it would have been impossible for BJP to get majority on its own, which has no doubt, given considerable leverage to the Modi Government to carry on with bold economic reforms and chart a new foreign policy. And the credit for the same goes to none other than Amit Shah who was given the charge of Uttar Pradesh BJP for the Lok Sabha elections.

The Repeat Performance in Haryana and Maharashtra

That the miracle of BJP's performance in Lok Sabha and especially in UP was not a fluke was vindicated by almost a near repeat, if not a replica of BJP's performance in the recently concluded Haryana and Maharashtra assembly elections.

When many were writing off the BJP after its unsatisfactory performance in some by-elections in UP and Bihar, not many realized that the Amit Shah team, instead of wasting time on some inconsequential by-elections, was concentrating on Haryana and Maharashtra.

It is not an easy task to get a majority on its own in a state where the previous tally of BJP was a mere 4 seats. But the Amit Shah team made that possible in Haryana. In case of Maharashtra BJP won more seats than the number of seats it was offered by Shiv Sena to contest the election.

Not only BJP showed Shiv Sena as to who was the elder brother, but the silence of BJP after the grand success and showing no inclination to pamper Shiv Sena, made it clear to all that this BJP is different and would not succumb to pressure tactics and bullying by allies.

The Next Stop- Jharkhand, J&K and Bihar

With elections in Jharkhand, J&K and Bihar all slated for next year, it is for sure that the Amit Shah and Narendra Modi combination along with their back room boys would strive to repeat their performance. Needless to say that the results of the Haryana and Maharashtra must have bolstered the state units of the above mentioned states and a repeat of good performance may not be surprising.

While Jharkhand might be an easier poll for BJP to win, it would have to face the combined might of JDU, Congress and RJD in Bihar, which fared well in the recently concluded by-elections. However, BJP might still have the edge given the popularity of Modi and the worsening governance issue in Bihar preceded by Nitish Kumar's surprising resignation and alliance with RJD.

While the organizational work would be meticulously handled by Amit Shah and his team, one can be rest assured that Modi would lead the campaign in future assembly elections too as has been the case with Haryana and Maharashtra.

Why Winning State Elections are Crucial for BJP

Winning assembly elections is as important for BJP as it is for ushering in the much needed economic reforms and bolstering India's security preparedness. There is a concerted effort by BJP to shed its North Indian tag and for that it has to increase its footprint elsewhere. Bihar and Jharkhand already have sizeable BJP presence and Modi-Amit Shah combine would attempt to translate it into a decisive mandate for BJP there.

Further, winning more assembly elections is needed by BJP not just for ushering in the state level reforms but also for bolstering its seats in the Rajya Sabha where it is still short of majority. Passing crucial economic legislations in the Rajya Sabha would need a better figure of NDA there and for that to happen, winning assembly elections is critical.

The performance of BJP in the forthcoming assembly elections in J&K would also be keenly watched as BJP is putting an all out effort to come to power there and if that happens, one may witness major structural changes.

With Congress in total disarray and its ground level workers completely disillusioned, BJP's good performance in the 2015 assembly elections in Jharkhand and J&K followed by Bihar later that year may not be surprising. One can be rest assured that the Amit Shah team has already started working for the same. There lies the edge of BJP.

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