When it comes to strategising an election campaign, no one does it better than BJP President and master strategist Amit Shah. Under his leadership, the party won Legislative Assembly Elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Assam in 2016. In 2017, he led the party towards a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and marked the party’s strong debut in Manipur. BJP also won 13 seats in Goa and now tactfully runs a fourth consecutive government with Manohar Parrikar as the Chief Minister. Today in 2018, the BJP has performed exceptionally well in the Karnataka Assembly Elections. Under his able guidance, the BJP has been able to make inroads in Southern states where it had minimal presence earlier. In PM Modi’s campaign for the 2014 General Elections, he was heading the Uttar Pradesh unit where BJP won 73 out of 80 seats. This was the best result achieved by the party in the state’s history. His organizational skills and management style appointed him as BJP party president and chairperson of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on 9th July 2014, and ever since assuming the role he has taken the party to new heights winning one election after another.
Amit Shah is praised across party lines for his hard work and booth level management. Before he took control over the party’s affairs, the BJP had minimal presence in the Northeast, while in contrast today the NDA is governing all Northeastern states except Mizoram. The master strategist had reduced Congress to two and a half states (Punjab, Puducherry and Mizoram) while the BJP governs 21 states. He has been able to make BJP’s presence felt in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, the states where the party has not been able to make inroads since independence.
Micro-management is a trademark feature of Amit Shah’s style of managing elections and campaigns. He is known for advising every booth level party workers to bring in at least 50 voters for the BJP. The duo of Modi-Shah has been able to paint India saffron through their pragmatism and shrewd methods. Amit Shah himself has been Member of Gujarat Legislative Assembly for five consecutive terms from 1997 to 2017, and presently he is a member of the Rajya Sabha since 19th August 2017. He has been able to bring perfect caste coalitions to make sure that party wins the states like Uttar Pradesh, which are ridden with caste based politics. He is very popular among party workers, and under his leadership the BJP became the largest political party in the world with more than 10 crore members, even more than the Communist Party of China.
In the latest Karnataka elections, under his leadership the BJP has been able to defeat Siddaramaiah’s Congress as well as Deve Gowda’s JD(S), with the BJP emerging as the biggest individual party in terms of share of seats. The greatest coup by the strategist could perhaps be yet to come, and if reports are to be believed, Congress strongman DK Shivakumar is in talks with the BJP over defecting from the Congress Party. There are reportedly atleast 4 more MLAs from the Congress and several more from the JD(S) that are in contact with the BJP.
The move by Amit Shah to bring back the Reddy brothers for the Karnataka Assembly Elections has proved extremely beneficial to the BJP. Reddy brothers enjoy significant clout in the region of Bellari in Karnataka and its adjoining districts of Raichura and Chitradurga. The BJP has been able to win at least 8 seats in the region with the help of the Reddy brothers.
Shrewdness, combined with a pragmatic and strategic outlook, have enabled Amit Shah to elevate the BJP to where it is today, as the largest pan national party in India.