It is never easy to choose a face for cover. But if there is one Man of the Moment in India, it has to be Mr Amit Shah, the BJP’s President, a man on whose broad shoulders rests a stupendous task—ensuring that the party does well, breaks fresh ground, and consolidates itself in 23 state assembly elections that will be held in India before April 2019. These states would include the larger ones like Bihar, Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Karnataka, U.P., Punjab and Gujarat. The others include Puducherry, Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, and Delhi. You may see Mr Shah break into a smile or two occasionally, but for much of the journey ahead he could remain poker-faced, and completely focused. In every state regional leaders will try and spoil the BJP party, while the Congress will be making efforts not to lose its grip over entire India. A lot of what India’s young and very large electorate does between now and 2019 will be determined by Mr Shah’s strategies.
By 2019 the BJP-led national Government at the Centre would have completed five years in office, and much of its future in political India will be determined by the outcome of the 23 assembly elections. Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s political right hand, Mr Shah has just completed a hectic three-week long campaign in Bihar, but whose results are not quite known at the time of going to press.
While in Bihar, Mr Shah stayed nights in villages such that the momentum of the campaigning was not interrupted. Copious amounts of damage control were required, especially since certain senior party leaders made embarrassing, and politically incorrect statements at regular intervals. Immediately after the Bihar last round elections were held, Mr Shah flew to Ahmedabad, where till late at night on November 5 he was grappling with ticket distribution at the municipal polls—micro-managing almost immediately after having macro-managed a very large state election.
Keeping with the subject of politics, we have four recent interviews with Union Ministers that we have excerpted for you. For the entire transcripts of these interviews you are requested to visit our website www.indiaempire.com
We have a section on Business and Governance that gives you a quick idea on how the Government is thinking, and acting, in key sectors. We also have Diaspora news from Canada, USA, Kolkata and U.K. It would be a pleasure to hear more from you on the magazine.
This issue coincides with the 9th Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in the City of Los Angeles. Many of you will get to read this issue at the Westin Bonaventure where I will be personally around, doing interviews.
I hope you enjoy navigating through the pages of this November edition of India Empire.