Sunday, 4 December, 2022
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Amit Shah is the ‘prime’ minister in Modi cabinet & he hits where it hurts

Amit Shah as the home minister will now be answerable for any terror attack in the country.

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It will not be a stretch to say that a third term for Narendra Modi will depend on how well his government handles the Jammu and Kashmir issue, tackles internal security threats, keeps fringe elements under check and finds a resolution to the Ayodhya dispute.

And of these, Jammu and Kashmir will be the single biggest challenge for his newly appointed home minister Amit Shah.

The mixed signals on the pending de-limitation of constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir have already stirred the hornet’s nest. Key political players in the state, like Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party and Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference, have raised their voice against such a move.

Whatever be the case, given Amit Shah’s thought process, it is only a matter of time before he comes up with some changes in the present representation in J&K. However, there’s little doubt that Jammu and Kashmir will test the grit and determination of the new home minister.

Elections in the state have been postponed and whenever held could throw up a divided mandate and a hung Assembly again.

Also read: What Amit Shah’s ‘plan for delimitation’ means for J&K and why it’s being opposed

Terror organisations operating out of Pakistan, prodded by trigger-happy generals, can renew their misadventures anytime. The MHA has prepared a list of top 10 militants operating in the state. It is anyone’s guess as to what the home minister’s instructions would be regarding the fate of those on the ‘kill list’. (It is widely believed that the CIA routinely provides a ‘kill list’ to the US president, and Osama Bin Laden was on one of them).

Since another cross-border surgical strike or a Balakot-like air strike is not possible now – neither the current situation warrants such a step – home minister Amit Shah’s challenge would be to contain the terrorists within a small local area. After all, Shah as the home minister will now be answerable for any terror attack in the country.

NRC & other challenges

For the BJP, the NRC turned out to be a game-changer. While there were apprehensions of a riot-like situation, the Centre’s deft handling of the issue doused the protests and paved way for peaceful elections in Assam, with the BJP reaping maximum benefits electorally.

In West Bengal, Amit Shah, as the BJP president, raised the issue of illegal immigration in his election speeches. He promised to implement the NRC in the state and “throw out infiltrators”. Raking up NRC in Bengal brought the BJP in direct confrontation with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.

Also read: Three reasons why Amit Shah as home minister is a big setback for the BJP

But as home minister, Amit Shah will have to work with the state government machinery and the chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) to work out a solution to illegal immigration and implement the NRC.

Another issue that will demand home minister Amit Shah’s immediate attention is Naxal violence. Just last month, a Naxal attack near Gadchiroli killed 15 security personnel. Naxals have consistently launched attacks against security forces despite a crackdown.

Amit Shah’s predecessor Rajnath Singh had said that the Naxal menace will be tackled and uprooted by 2023. Home minister Shah will have to get cracking to achieve the target.

A repeat of Gujarat model

People’s expectations from Modi and Shah are understandably high. Shah was Modi’s home minister in Gujarat too, and the duo popularised the ‘Gujarat model’. The BJP had projected the Gujarat model of development as its main election plank in 2014 and dethroned the Congress from power.

In the new cabinet, Shah is believed to be the de facto deputy PM; he is a member in all the eight cabinet committees and is heading two of them.

With Modi as the pilot and Shah as the co-pilot, the new government will now have to show greater progress in every aspect and set new records in performance.

Also read: Amit Shah to be allotted Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s residence on Krishna Menon Marg

But RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has a word of caution for the new government. “Those getting elected in a democratic set-up have immense power, but this does not mean that it should be misused,” he said while addressing RSS workers in Kanpur.

Does the RSS expect Amit Shah to use restraint? He is not someone who is willing to strike but afraid to hurt. He hits where it hurts.

Modi and, particularly, home minister Amit Shah’s five-year test has just begun.

The author is former editor of ‘Organiser’. Views are personal.

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  1. Amit Shah will be the PM (Prime Mover) of the collapse of this government, mark my words. Those who fancy rising like a meteor must remember that God burns meteors. But it is too late to change their course now. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have forced a win, or won forcibly, or whatever. Now their trajectory is “locked”.

  2. Author is completely forgetting the basic that is to cure the disease not to suppress it. the terrorist list will be eliminated for sure.. i have full confidence in my armed forces but what happens to Kashmiris… Making Amit Shah will only aggravate the situation. He will make sure Kashmir burns and then BJP garner votes from the Hindi Heartland. Just wait and watch how many time article 370 and 35 A will be brought in my Godi Media to deflect from real problems and to pump Nationalism. Already WA university has been flooded by messages on 370 and 35A.

  3. There are lot of expectations from Amit Shah and he will be tested severely
    in next 5 years. Indeed, Modi government will be evaluated mainly on his performance. He will have to bring out the best in him for removal of Article 370 and 35, tackling naxal issue, Ram Mandir issue if Supreme Court decision goes against building up of Ram temple, inter security challenges and reforms of police force. If he comes out successful, he will be regarded as iron man of 21st century India. Conversely, any terror attack, communal riot, naxal killings will be made a big issue by the opposition to tarnish his image and show him as incompetent. After a long time, we have a man who can deliver with ruthless efficiency and not just do politics and glib talk. Hope he succeeds.

  4. Biggest Mistake of MoDi is by inducting Amit Sha into the cabinet!! But I dono what’s Almighty’s Plans!! Hope for the best and HE knows the Best!! Best chance for him to become PM after Modi

    • Why is it a mistake? He is an able person. Unleash him in the Government. Good or bad BJP has a very clearly stated policy and they have been elected by people. The best thing I wish for India is to come out of it’s paralytic state — make concrete and decisive move in every sphere of governance. Lame characters like Manmohan Sing et al should be thrown by the way side.

  5. As the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh did not take responsibility for the Pulwama disaster where so many CRPF jawans coming under his ministry were killed. Neither did then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman assume responsibilty for an IAF helicopter being shot down by our own missile.
    Govts with brute majorities care two hoots for public opinion, or political propriety. Shah will be no different.

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