Union Minister Amit Shah at Parliament | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePirnt
Union Minister Amit Shah at Parliament | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePirnt
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Just a month ago, Lutyens’ Delhi was agog with rumours about how Home Minister Amit Shah had receded into the background since Covid struck. But he has reemerged most dramatically, showing up the sheer inability of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, and making it loud and clear who the real boss in Delhi is.

Home Minister Amit Shah appears as the ‘super CM’ of Delhi, the state’s ‘saviour’ in this hour of crisis. From making subtle attempts to convey this image through his actions, Shah has now taken to openly making the Kejriwal government seem inept and barely in-control. In an interview to ANI Sunday, Shah said that Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s statement in early June predicting that Delhi will see 5.5 lakh Covid cases by July end, had created “fear” among people. Shah also said how he disagreed with this projection.

In the past few weeks, Amit Shah has established himself as someone who is more than just the home minister to the capital. And Kejriwal, whose handling of the pandemic has exposed several flaws in his governance and politics, seems to be allowing Shah to have his way for now.


Also read: India will win both the battles, Covid-19 and the one against China: Amit Shah


Looking to corner Kejriwal

Shah’s trademark aggression in Delhi is directed at carefully laying the foundation to destroy Kejriwal’s claims of good governance, and telling the people of Delhi, that the chief minister they overwhelmingly voted for, is good for nothing.

Shah is subtly ‘attacking’ Kejriwal where it hurts him the most. What could be worse for the Delhi CM than to be made to seem inadequate and ill-prepared for something which he has always sold to his voters as his government’s biggest achievement—a strong healthcare system.

There’s nothing Amit Shah loves more than to destroy his political opponents — whether it is through legitimate ways in elections, by using unethical means to topple governments, or simply by laying traps to make them appear weak.

Shah has trained his guns at the two most powerful and popular leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party — Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia.

As the crisis in Delhi began to explode and Kejriwal started to look directionless, Shah made it a point to seize the moment and take charge. He held an all-party meet, asking everyone to remain together in the capital’s fight against the coronavirus. He laid out a plan for Delhi, met Kejriwal frequently, and made a very powerful statement by making a surprise visit to the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan (LNJP) hospital.

Modi and Shah are masters of optics. The image of Amit Shah behind a mask, landing up at LNJP and giving instructions, was intended at sending out a message to the Delhi voters: how Kejriwal government had failed. The sloppy handling of the pandemic by the AAP government has only helped Modi-Shah emphasise their own importance. And it did seem like the Centre’s intervention was much-needed to put Delhi back on track.

Shah’s attempt to corner the popular CM comes barely months after AAP swept the Delhi assembly poll, despite a very shrill, polarised and toxic campaign by the BJP. In that election, Kejriwal proved to Shah who the boss on Delhi’s political turf was. Amit Shah, in fact, was forced to express regret over his party’s vicious campaign, though of course, more of a show than an actual course correction.

But Amit Shah does not forget, or forgive, easily. Barely five months later, he has found the perfect chance to avenge his humiliation by Kejriwal — the disgrace of the mighty Shah, who has an election-winning brain, being reduced to dust by a relatively new politician.


Also read: Why Delhi’s falling Covid positivity rate may not be good news just yet


From silence to the forefront

Despite being the home minister, Amit Shah spent the first couple of months of the Covid crisis in the background, with many wondering what was holding him back. Until then, Shah had been the Modi government’s go-to man of all seasons and reasons ever since he became the home minister.

From being the face of crucial decisions of the Modi government (Article 370, the new citizenship law and the Triple Talaq legislation) to leading the political charge ahead of state elections alongside Modi, Amit Shah was at the centre of Modi 2.0.

Covid, however, suddenly took Shah from the forefront to oblivion. He was running his ministry as usual, holding meetings, but away from public glare — very unlike the politician who loves to be combative and remains in the limelight. Covid was Modi’s battle, and there was little space for Amit Shah’s belligerent approach. Matters in Delhi, however, are a different ballgame.

The Delhi intervention serves Amit Shah two objectives. First, it helps him come out of the Covid oblivion. Second, and more importantly, it allows him to show a political enemy in a bad light. For Kejriwal, meanwhile, this may be a necessity for now, given how the situation was slipping out of his hands. But Amit Shah’s projection as ‘super CM’ is a real PR and political disaster.

Views are personal.


Also read: This is how Amit Shah broke Manipur deadlock and swung state back in BJP’s favour


 

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29 Comments Share Your Views

29 COMMENTS

  1. Ye jo bhi bhakt bhakt bol rahe the vo aaj ki tarikh me dekho.. ki delhi ka kya status hai…
    Top most me se 12th pe gaya…
    And amit shah testid positive too…

    Kam dikhta hai…
    Kejrival ka pehle se girgit vala kam raha hai..
    Dusre ke kam ka credit lo…

  2. Earlier i used to think both CM and HM deserve credit for controlling the situation. Then i saw how manish sisodia’s order of cancelling end sem exams of state universities was ignored, and i realised that if these people cant even control their own universities, how will they control 2 cr delhites. i must say HM saved the day

  3. The author of this article is clearly biased. She has more regard of her personal opinions than raw facts. I am an objective admirer of the present government but I also follow the left so that my views are properly balanced. At such a time, if someone like me is met with articles such as this, he/she might start losing faith in constructive criticism. Kindly make your reports more factual, and comparatively less biased than the quint, scroll, and wire. This particular reporter/author has a lot to learn from the chief editor of this portal (Mr. Shekhar Gupta).

    • It’s a pity that even in such a crisis, people like this reporter find ways to hurl personal attacks on someone willing to step up to the occasion. Delhi is in the top 2 worst affected areas. Clearly it’s seeking central intervention. Delhi is the capital of the nation, therefore it is the responsibility of the central government to intervene when situation demands. It’s very saddening to see that the initiatives taken by the government to handle this crisis are being met with such false interpretations and bogus assumptions, simply so that a handful of people could satisfy their egos at the cost of giving the wrong information to people and misleading them with personal opinions rather than facts and logic.

  4. kejriwal has always ridden on the back of others against relatively ‘decent’ people. this time he has met his match.

  5. Can’t blame Amit Shah as Kejriwal offered him opportunity on a silver platter. There was no need to create panic as the most BJP ruled states are either not conducting tests or hiding their results. Yesterday’s report indicated that Indore administarion didn’t not disclose the deaths of 35 odd number meaning hundreds of Covid patients and every one knows the story of UP

  6. Sir ap jis tarike se desh ki seva kr rahe hai plz apse request hai yese kafi log hai jinke pas kaam nhi hai sir jb se lockdown hua hai tb se mai kaam ki talash mai hu Same meri badi di ke pas bhi koi kaam nhi hai wo rent par rehti hai or mera brother ke pas koi kaam nhi hai plz sir apse request hai ap koi kaam dilwa do Plz sir plz help me

    • Absolutely right!! BUT.. when Jihadis like Kejriwal & others do blunders against the people or the nation, the communist China paid press like @theprint supports Jihadis & spins the issue as if the fault lies with BJP!! Wonder when will Hindus-tan get rid of these Jihadis & traitors!!

  7. It’s as expected from You and types. Keep on blabering, people now understand your pain. They enjoy it now.

  8. Poohi is a CONGRASS journalist. Her anger was directed against AK as he avoided criticism of MODIJI’s government and appeared religious. Her fear was if such trend continues middlemen acting as journalists would never be able to see congrass back in power . Now she wants to chide AK to come closer to congrass. Hence this vitriolic write-up.

  9. Press is making Amit shah as super CM, the article is unnecessary and unwarranted and is a speculation and not a news

  10. Dear print let me tell you delhi elections are going to held in 2025 before that there is mcd election so you can talk about this at that time and even have election of 2024 so just wait it’s politics just to gain some trp wait for sometime

  11. Ha ha,
    hazam nahin ho raha hain na?
    If Delhi CM and central HM, work together, that leaves Congress, high and dry.
    Well, saute your self happily.

  12. In my opinion, I think it is commendable that A. Kejriwal accepted help from the Centre.
    It is prudent of both AAP and BJP to work together during this crisis.

  13. Clearly the author is a BJP Bhakt! or paid by them to write this article, either way its spineless journalism at its best.

    • Hahahha.. kejri is like humare pass 30000 bed hai.. open lockdown.. 1 month later, kejri isnlike ye case zyada ho gaye, let’s lock people coming from other state… Manish sisodia said by end of July there wud be 5.5 lac cases in delhi.. kejri after listening to this… help help help!!! Now help has come and he is praising bjp for help.. what a stupid cm Delhi has..

  14. Delhi CM is powerless ant now’getting humiliated. Is Gujarat CM handling better than Delhi CM. Why AK has not used Mohalla clinic to treat mild Covid cases instead of making every one to rush to hospital.

  15. Kejriwal attempts to hog limelight after receiving support from centre even in the moment of crisis.
    And this article paints him as a sitting duck and Amit Shah to be full of hate and malice.

    Tracks it back to Kejriwal’s election and whatnot, but doesn’t once mentions the Kejriwal’s quackery.

  16. Amit Shah has tried to distort facts and convey a wrong picture in his interviews, so is the author attempting the same in this article. All Delhi residents know it was not Manish Sisodia or Kejriwal predicting the figures, but the medical experts of the government , hence preparations had to be done accordingly by both the State Government Hospitals and the Central Government Hospitals . As lockdown was going to open, the Delhi Government had suggested that the State Government hospitals with 10000 beds look after Delhi residents and the Central Government Hospitals with equal number of beds 10,000, take care of non-delhi people.

    This was reported wrongly by the BJP and the media under their control, as “Delhi hospitals will only treat Delhi people” and the governor over ruled to further this impression being created by BJP. The private hospitals did not co-operate with the Delhi Govt, like updating data in app, knowing that Delhi govt did not enjoy control of police or support of BJP. It was for this reason that Kejriwal took support of Centre to ensure control and capping of price in treatment in private hospitals and get more resources for the people of Delhi

    No amount of media management can change the ground reality, of hard work done by the AAP government and its unshaken popularity with the masses. Arvind Kejriwal will remain the super CM of Delhi!

  17. Words used by the writer for Kejriwal:
    “and it did seem like the Centre’s intervention was much-needed to put Delhi back on track.” “And it did seem like the Centre’s intervention was much-needed to put Delhi back on track.” “Kejriwal started to look directionless” “how Kejriwal government had failed” “showing up the sheer inability of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, and making it loud and clear who the real boss in Delhi is.”
    and then these words for Amit Shah:
    “There’s nothing Amit Shah loves more than to destroy his political opponents ” “The image of Amit Shah behind a mask, landing up at LNJP and giving instructions, was intended at sending out a message to the Delhi voters: how Kejriwal government had failed”

    Too much of a one sided language and hence inherently biased viewpoint to analyze anything Objectively and with data. We expect The Print to do it better like Shekhar Gupta. For some time I thought I am reading RSS blogpost.
    Its not that we are pro-Kejrewal but just want data based objective view to have superior understanding of happenings in India.

  18. Ruhi, like shah your article is all optics but NO REAL SUBSTANCE. Shah, Modi, Trump, Bolsanaro will play this political one upmanship game but Corona has already proved who’s the BOSS.
    You are just enabling sycophancy by not presenting any single fact(policy or directive).
    Read what you wrote again for clarity please
    🙏🏿

  19. The Print is trying its best to act like a Shakuni between the Delhi government and the centre. Even a few days before an article appeared in The Print (of course where else can auch articles appear) which suggested that Arvind Kejriwal was singing the same tune as the centre. And for publications like The Print whosoever speaks with the BJP and concurs with its view has to be immediately attacked. The brief of these journos is to ensure that no party aligns with BJP. If any party cosies up to the congress these same journos will play the enablers. Also lies are easily pedalled. Ruhi Tiwari says that Amit shah topples the oposition government by unethical means. I want to know what is the proof of unethical practice by Amit Shah which The Print possesses ? It should produce them before the court and sur BJP for unethical conduct. But there is no proof. Allegations are routinely made to tarnish the BJPs reputation because these small time journos feel that BJP will not waste time on suing them. So everyone wants to lie about BJP, abuse it often ao they are noticed and which helps them to earn their riches amd move to next orbit like Rana Ayub, Thapar, Nidhi amd many others. Shame on auch shallow analysis.

  20. And Amit Shah is following the constitution, right? The state of Delhi is a mockery of democracy. Before 2014, the political parties respected the citizens. After 2014, BJP made Delhi govt its concubine. In the name of constitution!!!

  21. Comparing political prows of Mr. Amit Shah and Mr. Kejriwal is like comparing the batting strength and prows of legendary Rahul Dravid with Hardik pandya. Mr. Shah was hounded at the instance of a queen of India during UPA regime . But Mr. shah by dint of hard work and perseverance overcame all obstacles and came out as a WINNER . On other hand Kejriwal , like a clever fox , out-foxed every body of Anna s movement and enthroned himself in Delhi as CM. Mr. Shah is master of strategies and Kejriwal Sir , is master of tactics .For Mr. Shah whole of India is battle ground to be captured, Kejriwal is entrapped in Purana Quila of Delhi.

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