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The Controversial Home Minister: Why Amit Shah spent 2 years in exile?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet along with the portfolios is now been disclosed. Few ministers have been replaced while some are given additional responsibility and not to everyone’s surprise in Narendra Modi’s second term as the Prime Minister he has appointed his second in command to a person who was once his deputy and most trusted companion during his stint as Gujarat Chief Minister.

BJP president Amit Shah responsible for party’s landmark victory in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections and various state assemblies including Uttar Pradesh is now appointed as India’s new Minister of Internal Affairs.  Shah who won the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar has replaced Rajnath Singh has the Internal Affairs Ministers.

A close aide of PM Modi, Shah during Modi’s tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister being of the youngest Minister handled 12 portfolios i.e Home, Law and Justice, Prison, Border Security, Civil Defence, Excise, Transport, Prohibition, Home Guards, Gram Rakshak Dal, Police Housing, and Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs.

Though being the high-profile and a star minister in then CM Modi’s cabinet, Shah is not someone who has a clean image. The biggest stain on Amit Shah’s collar is of being accused of the having orchestrated the extrajudicial killings of criminal Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and his criminal associate Tulsiram Prajapati.

According to CBI, several marble traders in Gujarat paid Amit Shah heavy sum to eliminate gangster, Sohrabuddin Sheikh. As per India’s premier Investigation Agency’s statement in front of the judiciary,  Amit Shah along with then Gujarat DIG DG Vanzara and SP Rajkumar Pandian conspired a plan to kill Sohrabuddin. CBI further stated that the police killed Sohrabuddin in a staged attack claiming him to be a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative. The state police also killed Sohrabuudin’s wife Kausar Bi and his associate Tulsiram Prajapati. Another allegation on Amit Shah states that he transferred Vanzara to various places as facilitation of these killings.

CBI further presented evidence in the court stating Shah’s involvement in the case. Claiming his innocence Shah termed the case as politically motivate and blamed the ruling Congress party behind the entire fiasco. Shah was arrested in 2010 in connection to the case and was charged with murder, extortion and kidnapping. He was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court three months after the arrest however just a day after when the court was closed Justice Aftab Alam in a special hearing at his residence barred Amit Shah from entering Gujarat while made hi stay away from his home state from 2010 to 2012.

Relief for Amit Shah came in September 2012 when the Supreme Court granted him bail and allowed his return to the state. The return turned out for Amit Shah like a blessing in disguise as since his return he never looked back in his political career winning the almost every challenge which came in front of him be it the 2012 Gujarat Assembly elections, 2014 Lok Sabha elections, 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, and the 2019 Lok Sabha.

During his tenure as Home Minister in Gujarat, the infamous encounter mostly extrajudicial tainted his tenure. As Modi rewards him with Home Ministry at National level we might have to brace ourselves for controversial another 5 years.

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