A businessman-turned-politician and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Amit Shah became the Union home minister in the second term of the Narendra Modi-led central government. Also referred to as the 'Chanakya' of modern Indian politics, Shah, a close aide of Modi's, has been credited with leading the BJP to victory in several elections as the party's president.
Shah put his political acumen to use on a pan-Indian basis even before donning the mantle of the BJP president. Since Modi took charge as the prime minister of India during his first term, no politician in the country has been considered taller than Shah, after the PM himself. Since 1989, Amit Shah has fought 29 elections, including various local body polls, and not lost any to this day. Shah was elected as an MLA from Gujarat’s Sarkhej in four consecutive elections — 1997 (by-election), 1998, 2002 and 2007.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Shah contested from Gandhinagar, a seat previously held by BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani, and won it comprehensively. He defeated his nearest rival Dr C J Chavda of the Indian National Congress by a margin of 557,014. Shah received 69.67% of the votes cast in this constituency.
Shah has been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since childhood. He first met Narendra Modi in 1982 through Ahmedabad RSS circles. During Narendra Modi's 12-year tenure as the Gujarat CM, Shah emerged as one of the most powerful leaders in the state. After winning the 2002 state elections, he became the youngest minister in the Modi-led Gujarat government, and was given multiple portfolios. At one time, he held 12 portfolios — home, law and justice, prison, border security, civil defence, excise, transport, prohibition, home guards, gram rakshak dal, police housing, and legislative and parliamentary affairs.
Known as a master strategist, Shah, along with Modi, assured BJP victories in several state elections after the BJP’s landslide Lok Sabha elections win in 2014. And, they topped up their success with a thumping victory in Lok Sabha elections 2019, in which the BJP saw its biggest individual seat tally ever, of 303.
Under Shah's leadership, the BJP achieved success in Legislative Assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Assam from 2014 to 2016, but lost the elections in Delhi, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. He led the party towards a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Gujarat, and marked the party's strong debut in Manipur, but the Akali-BJP alliance lost power in Punjab. Come 2019, however, the party lost the state elections in Jharkhand, and failed to form governments in Maharashtra and Haryana.
In January 2020, Shah was succeeded as the BJP president by Jagat Prakash Nadda.