Shah once fixed posters, wore Khaki in college: Ex-Ahmedabad Mayor

| Updated: 03 May, 2024 3:06 pm IST
Rohan Dua in conversation with Amit Shah's childhood friend, Gautam Shah.

AHMEDABAD: Meeting friends and families of prominent political figures helps intertwine their political journeys. One such college friendship belongs to Gautam Shah, the former mayor of Ahmedabad, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Gautam Shah fondly recollects memories of his time with the Home Minister while speaking to the team of The New Indian. He said, “He was a swayamsevak of Somnath Prabhat Sakha, and those were the days when Narendra Modi started his journey as a pracharak of the RSS, actively engaging with the youth.”

He began by recalling the time when the seeds of political activism were sown in Shah’s heart. “He joined the Vidhyarthi Parishad at Narendra Modi’s behest, and later, as he stepped into the realm of social work, his commitment only grew stronger.”

The initial days for Amit Shah were challenging, but Gautam emphasised his convincing power and said, “He has had an extreme convincing power since childhood; he can convince anyone with it, we learned that from him.”

He recalled working for the BJP without money and resources under the Congress government,  “Working for the BJP in those days was tough, we lacked resources and money, but Amit Shah led by example, he would personally paste posters, even amidst confrontations with the police.”

Gautam Shah recollecting the memories of him and Amit Shah.

Amidst the whirlwind of political campaigns, there were moments of respite, Gautam then recalls their nightly visits to Anand Bhaji Pav, a humble eatery where they would unwind after long days of campaigning. “Amit bhai had a particular fondness for Bhaji Pao, and those evenings were our time of joint meeting amidst the chaos of politics.”

The conversation shifted to the Shah’s belief in simplicity. “Since childhood, he used to wear Khadi clothes and even wore Khadi clothes in college, Modi told him that Khadi is not just an attire, it’s a thought.”

Beyond his political endeavours, the conversation moves towards other interests of Amit Shah besides politics. He talks about  Shah’s skills on the cricket field, which earned him admiration. “He was a skilled fast bowler and batsman,” His determination on the pitch mirrored his dedication to politics.”

Shah’s journey from college days to his current position as the Union Home Minister fills Gautam with a sense of pride. “We have witnessed his growth firsthand,” he says. “From his early days in the Vidhyarthi Parishad to his ascent as a key figure in the BJP, his journey embodies resilience and determination.”

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He remembers how he entered ABVP through a college card and then joined the BJP and became a minister, then the state head, then MLA, and finally, the Union Minister.

As we delve into the recent events that brought them together once again, Gautam expresses, “To see his son Jai Shah taking time out of his busy schedule for IPL matches and BCCI meetings to attend the Jain Samaj congregation fills us with pride, He reflects his father’s commitment to both his duties and his roots.”

BJP this time is contesting for 400 seats and winning with a 10 lakh vote margin in the Gandhinagar seat, which Amit Shah is eyeing for a second term. The elections in Gujarat are scheduled to be held on May 7 in 25 constituencies out of 26.

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