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Amit Shah becomes BJP president inspite of facing serious criminal charges

By on July 9, 2014

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) views the appointment of Mr Amit Shah to the post of BJP national president as a wrong precedent for the country’s democracy, which should have been avoided by the ruling party.

By appointing Mr Shah as its chief, the BJP has lowered the minimum moral qualification required for leaders to head major political parties in the country. It is difficult to recall any other example in which a leader who faced serious criminal charges including murder, extortion and kidnapping was anointed as chief of a national political party. The AAP views the development as a sad day for democracy.

It is not hidden from anyone that Mr Shah is currently out on bail since he faces serious charges of having masterminded the fake encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi and and an eyewitness in the case, Tulsiram Prajapati. The argument that the appointment of Mr Shah as BJP President is an internal matter of that party, does not hold ground since this development will have multiple implications on the political system of the country.

In his first major speech in the parliament as Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi had stressed on deciding cases of MPs facing criminal charges within a year to free this important institution of democracy from criminals. Now by appointing an individual who is facing trial in cases of murder, conspiracy, extortion, kidnapping, destruction of evidence and wrongful confinement, as party president – are Mr Modi and the BJP indicating that office-bearers of political parties enjoy immunity from criminalisation of politics? It cannot be forgotten that Mr Shah was not allowed to enter Gujarat for almost two years on court orders and was finally given bail in the fake encounter cases on the condition that he will not enter the state to tamper with evidence.

When an individual is facing such serious criminal charges, would it not have been appropriate for the main political party of the country to have waited for the outcome of the case against him before anointing him and showcasing the event as a big victory ?

The track record of Mr Shah as minister of state for home in Gujarat has been extremely dubious to say the least. It was during his tenure that the Supreme Court transferred all major cases of 2002 riots out of Gujarat, agreeing with the apprehensions expressed by the riots victims that fair investigation of cases was not possible under this government. The AAP does not agree with the BJP argument that Mr Shah was implicated in political cases, since it was the Gujarat government, which had itself admitted in the Supreme Court that Sohrabuddin, his wife and Tulsiram Parajapati were killed in fake encounters.

[Source: Aam Aadmi Party Official Website]

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