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Rediff.com  » News » Shah Will Be Longest-Serving Home Minister

Shah Will Be Longest-Serving Home Minister

By Archis Mohan
June 11, 2024 08:50 IST
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The immediate challenge for the Centre and the home ministry is to ensure the conduct of assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir and restoration of its statehood.

IMAGE: Amit Anilchandra Shah is sworn in as a Cabinet minister at Rashtrapati Bhavan, June 9, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo
 

If he were to remain in North Block for over a year, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Anilchandra Shah would become India's longest-serving home minister.

The Congress' Govind Ballabh Pant and the BJP's Lal Kishenchand Advani served as Union home ministers for a little over six years, while Shah and Rajnath Singh, the Union home minister in the Modi 1.0 government, have spent five years each in the North Block.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra D Modi handed over to Shah the reins of the crucial ministry of home affairs as well as the ministry of cooperation for a second consecutive term, signalling continuity on key internal security issues.

Under Shah, the immediate challenge for the Centre and the home ministry is to ensure the conduct of assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir and restoration of its statehood. J&K became a Union Territory five years ago.

Another challenge would be the rollout of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023 and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam 2023, which are set to replace the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act.

These laws are scheduled to come into effect on July 1. Shah had piloted these laws in Parliament in 2023.

Apart from 59-year-old Shah, Nityanand Rai, who was minister of state for home in the previous regime, also returned to the government in the same capacity.

Telangana MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar, a former president of the BJP's Telangana unit, will be the second MoS in the ministry, replacing Ajay Kumar, who lost the Lok Sabha polls from Uttar Pradesh's Kheri.

In a post on X, Shah said: 'In Modi 3.0, the MHA will continue to accelerate and strengthen security initiatives and introduce new approaches to realise PM Modi's vision of a secure Bharat.'

The ministry of cooperation will remain committed to empowering farmers and villages with the vision of 'Sahakaar Se Samriddhi', Shah added.

During Modi 1.0, Shah was the BJP's national president.

Under Shah, the party expanded its electoral footprint in the North East, winning in Assam and Tripura, and consolidated its sway in the Hindi heartland, with the BJP forming a government in Uttar Pradesh after 15 years in 2017.

In 2019, with the BJP winning 303 seats, Shah replaced Rajnath Singh as the country's home minister.

In the first few months of taking over, Shah surprised the Opposition by bringing an amendment to nullify Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

He also played a key role in the enactment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and emerged as the BJP's voice in Parliament, second only to that of the PM.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com

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Archis Mohan
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