The Biography of BJP President Amitbhai Anilchandra Shah

Amit Shah is the newly appointed President of Bharatiya Janata Party. He is one of the seniormost BJP Leaders from Gujarat and has been instrumental in BJP’s Victory in recently concluded General Election. Below we present a short Biography of him.

His full name is Amitbhai Anilchandra Shah. He was born on October 22, 1964 in Mumbai, Maharashtra in a Jain Family. His father Anilchandra Shah, a businessman from Mansa, owned a successful PVC pipe business. Amit Shah did his schooling in Mehsana, and then moved to Ahmedabad to study biochemistry at CU Shah Science College. He graduated with a B.Sc. degree in biochemistry from CU Shah Science College, and then worked for his father’s business. He also worked as a stockbroker and in co-operative banks in Ahmedabad.

Shah was involved with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since childhood, participating in the neighbourhood shakhas (branches) as a boy. He formally became a RSS swayamsevak (volunteer) during his college days in Ahmedabad. He first met Narendra Modi in 1982, in the Ahmedabad RSS circles. At that time, Modi was a minor RSS pracharak, working as in-charge of youth activities in city.

In the beginning his political career, Amit Shah joined Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1983. 3 years later he joined BJP in 1986. It is interesting to note that he joined BJP one year before Narendra Modi joined the party.

In 1987, he was appointed to BJP’s youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) where he served in various capacity including that of ward secretary, taluka secretary, state secretary, vice-president, and general secretary. In 1991 Lok Sabha elections, he campaigned for Lal Krishna Advani in Gandhinagar.

In 1999, he was elected as the President of Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (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 not belonging to any of these castes, Shah managed to win the election. At that time, 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 year, the bank registered a profit of INR 27 crore. By 2014, the bank’s profit had increased to around INR 250 crore. Shah also ensured that 11 of the Bank’s 22 directors were his loyalists in the BJP.

Amit Shah is married to Sonal Shah, and the couple has a son named Jay.People close to Amit Shah have described him as someone who does not like to socialize much.

Amit Shah also served as the President of Gujarat State Chess Association. In 2009, he became the vice-president of the cash-rich Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA), when Narendra Modi served as its President. Much later, in 2014, he became the President of GCA.

In February 1997, Shah won Gujarat Legislative Assembly bye-election from Sarkhej. Since then he remained undefeated from Sarkhej. In 2002 Assembly election, 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 victory.

In 2002 he was appointed as the youngest minister in the Modi government, and was given multiple portfolios including Home, Law and Justice, Prison, Border Security, Civil Defence, Excise, Transport, Prohibition, Home Guards, Gram Rakshak Dal, Police Housing, and Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs.

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. The case is ongoing. Amit Shah was also accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, but the CBI gave him a clean chit in the case.

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. The Gujarat High Court granted him bail three months after his arrest, on Friday, 29 October 2010. Later Shah was exiled by a Court from the state from 2010 to 2012. He and his wife moved to a room in Gujarat Bhawan, Delhi. In September 2012, the Supreme Court allowed him to return to Gujarat. He then contested and won the 2012 Assembly election from Naranpura constituency (the Sarkhej constituency had ceased to exist after delimitation).

On 12 June 2013, Shah was appointed as a BJP general secretary, and was given charge of Uttar Pradesh (UP). 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 won 71 out of 80 seats.

On July 9, 2014 he was was named as the next President of Bharatiya Janata Party, a post once held by veterans like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani.