Amit Shah’s wife Sonal Shah is a native of Kolhapur and therefore he has a special soft corner for the region. This is one of the possible reasons why the party took the corporation elections so seriously. Shah is reported to have told Patil (BJP Politician) that if he won the elections for the party in Kolhapur, he would be promoted. Lastly, the rival Congress and NCP parties are known to have a lot of infighting within them, which the BJP was able to use to its own advantage.
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It is often said in media that Amit Shah believes if he had not been sent to jail by the Congress in 2010 in an alleged fake encounter case, he would not have been at the centrestage of his party’s politics in 2014. He says the jail term changed his life. Reciting the Bhagvad Gita before jail inmates, he took a vow to defeat the Congress. And he chose Uttar Pradesh to keep his promise.
Amit Shah was born in Mumbai. His family were well-to-do Jain Gujarati people. His father owned a successful PVC pipe business. After college education, he 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 since childhood, participating in the neighbourhood shakhas (branches) as a boy. He formally became an RSS swayamsevak (volunteer) during his college days in Ahmedabad. He first met Narendra Modi in 1982 through Ahmedabad RSS circles. At that time, Modi was an RSS pracharak (propagator), working as in-charge of youth activities in city.
In 2013, Amit Shah was accused of having ordered illegal surveillance on a woman in 2009, during his tenure as a home minister. The investigative websites Cobrapost and Gulail released a set of taped audio conversations between Amit Shah and police officer GL Singhal. The tapes had been submitted to the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, and were leaked to these portals. The calls detail how the state machinery was used to surveil the woman and the IAS officer Pradeep Sharma (who was suspended by the Gujarat Government). Both Singhal and Shah repeatedly refer to a higher authority as Saheb, believed to be the Chief Minister Narendra Modi. BJP’s political opponents demanded a probe in this Snoopgate case. However, in May 2014, the woman approached the Supreme Court and stated that the surveillance on her was based on a “personal request”, and she was thankful to the Gujarat government for ensuring her safety. She requested the court to block any investigation, stating that it would violate her privacy. Shah denied all the accusations against him, calling them political propaganda by his opponents.