30 July, 2017
The BJP really wants to defeat Ahmed Patel, who is a political advisor to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, to cause embarrassment to the rival party, just ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat. This would be the first time Shah contests an election to become a Member of Parliament. Shah will have more time on his hands.
Amit Shah has been an MLA from Naranpura constituency in Ahmedabad. He retained the seat in 1998, 2002 and 2007. Given the trouble in Gujarat Congress, symbolised by the resignation by leader of opposition Shankar Singh Vaghela and cross voting by Congress MLAs during the recent presidential election, the BJP is hopeful that it can also win the third seat, now held by Patel.
Known for his organisational abilities and strategic planning, Shah became BJP general secretary in 2013 and was given charge of Uttar Pradesh. Irani was appointed as Human Resources Development Minister after the BJP took over at the Centre and was made the Union Textile Minister in 2016.
"The third seat will not go uncontested", a BJP leader said.
Shah's nomination also puts an end to the speculation that he may return to Gujarat as the BJP's CM candidate in the polls due later this year.
Out of the 9 retiring members, four are from the Trinamool Congress, two from the Congress, two from the BJP and one from the CPI-M.
The Gujarat Assembly has 182 members.