MODI 2.0 – Narendra Shah & Amit Modi integration is completeby Opinion Express June 10, 2019 0 comments
Narendra Modi and Amit Shah Partnership have been scripted in heavens. The integration is so profound that the headline of this editorial piece justifies it completely. BJP president Amit Shah has been Modi’s most trusted lieutenant since the late 1980s when both started their political careers in Gujarat, to making a grand entry in the prime minister’s group of ministers. He emerged from the backstage, from where he directed the BJP’s ascent to its peak, to take dominant centre stage as a minister in Narendra Modi’s second government.
A series of recent events had pointed to such a possibility. The first signal was Shah contesting the Lok Sabha elections. It was perhaps the first clear sign that Shah was getting into the administrative side of politics. Shah presence in Lok Sabha without the likes of Arun Jaitely and Sushma Swaraj in the government indicates power structure in the Modi 2.0 government.
The second clear signal was the symbolism of Modi and Shah being together since the party’s victory celebrations. After the election results were announced on May 23, the Modi-Shah duo had walked together to the BJP headquarters to greet and address party workers. The current No. 1 and No. 2 in the BJP had also travelled together to their respective constituencies of Varanasi and Gandhi Nagar, they addressed the first press conference at the BJP HQ together.
The third clear sign is actually a historical fact. When Shah laid the ground for Modi’s return as Gujarat chief minister in 2002, he was rewarded with 10 portfolios, including home, law and justice, prison, border security and housing. A repeat performance on a national level, given the comfortable position to which Shah guided his party, was arguably going to fetch him a reward in the form of a cabinet berth.
Besides, Modi’s trust in Shah is indisputable. At the BJP national executive following the party’s massive victory in 2014 and 2019 elections, Modi had said, “Amit Shah was the man of the match. I have personally known Shah for a long time. He will perform to his potential in his new responsibility and I have no doubt about that.
But what does Shah’s ministerial position mean for the BJP’s larger politics? Is Modi grooming Shah for administration? “Amit Shah’s transition is complete. He is now the legitimized inheritor of Modi’s legacy. By the time the tenure of Modi 2.0 comes to an end in 2024, Modi will be 73 years old. Given the rule he has set for the party — of encouraging those above 75 years of age to retire from active politics — it will be time for the BJP, in case it wins a third straight term in Lok Sabha, to appoint its successor. Will today’s cabinet minister be tomorrow’s prime minister? It is a line of thought worth pursuing. Interestingly, RSS approval will have a decisive say in the final outcome for the successor of Modi.
Modi 2.0 will see Amit Shah in Home Ministry, Rajnath Singh in Defense Ministry, Nirmala Sitaraman in Finance Ministry, Subramanium Jaishakar in External Affairs Ministry as the part of CCS – the super cabinet. The Modi 2.0 will have 24 Cabinet Ministers, 9 Independent Ministers & 24 Minister of state.
— Prashant Tewari, Editor-in-Chief