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09th-Jul-2014

Modi confidante Amit Shah to be BJP president

By Agency

Amit Shah, a close associate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, could be named the new president of the BJP tomorrow after a meeting of the top decision-makers of the ruling party.
With assembly elections due in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, the source said Shah had emerged the front-runner vis-a-vis colleagues such as J P Nadda and Om Prakash Mathur.
Shah, 50, if picked for the post, will succeed Rajnath Singh, now the Home Minister in union government. In the national elections in May, Shah, engineered a massive victory for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, delivering 71 of the state's 80 parliamentary seats.
Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shah served as his Home Minister, but had to resign in 2010 after he was alleged to have sanctioned a fake encounter by the state police, which saw three Muslims being killed by officers who alleged they were terrorists planning to assassinate Modi.
Shah faces murder charges for allowing the extra-judicial killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, a small-time criminal, his wife and a witness.
Shah, currently a general secretary of the BJP, says the murder charges are a political conspiracy.
During the campaign for the national election, Shah was banned by the powerful Election Commission from rallies and speeches after it found him guilty of delivering "hate speeches" designed to promote "hatred and ill will" between religions.
The ban was lifted after Shah vowed in writing that he would not he promised not to "use abusive or derogatory language in the campaign".