by R Rajagopalan | 12:57 PM July 15, 2017

Capital buzz: Meet the unexpected tamer of 'lion' Amit Shah

Capital buzz: Meet the unexpected tamer of 'lion' Amit Shah



Party workers describe BJP chief Amit Shah as a 'lion'. But his other, softer side is also interesting. A close look at his personal life will bring out a wholly different portrait of Amit Shah. Here is a fact - in the past three years, not a day would have gone by without Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP Chief Amit Shah either speaking on the phone, or meeting in person.

According to sources close to both, this is the result of a healthy amount of respect, perhaps even awe, that Shah has of Modi. But there is another face of Shah - quite different but one that also requires daily phone calls. For the past three months, Amit Shah speaks to the new entry into his family on a regular basis - two times a day! 

Wherever Amit Shah might be, at least for a few seconds he either hears the voice of his three-month-old granddaughter on the phone, or watches the baby on Skype or Facetime on his mobile phone. This correspondent witnessed the 'baby-talk' by Amit Shah - a wholly unusual scene. The granddaughter is named Rudri and Shah says that the baby should recognise her grandfather's voice.

The BJP chief, who spent a significant part of his youth in the RSS, is now daily pronouncing/teaching a new word to the baby. Shah utters phrases like "Jai Shri Ram" in New Delhi and the baby in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat usually smiles at the sounds or raises a hand or a foot. 

Seeing the baby's reactions, an enthused Amit Shah at times becomes quite emotional. The lion, it seems, has been soothed by Rudri. 

A top secret raid in Bihar

Bihar is reverberating in New Delhi. The political buzz making the rounds in Dilli Darbar is shocking indeed. They say the imminent arrest of a political leader on corruption charges is on the cards. The arrest is rumoured to happen as soon as the Presidential polls are over. 

For the right reasons or wrong, Bihar has been in the daily screaming headlines in print as well as visual media. If the grapevine in South and North Block is to be believed, on the topic of the upcoming Bihar raid, six pages marked 'TOP SECRET' has submitted to the Prime Minister's Office by the CBI. 

An eyewitness described the six pages are being placed in an envelope was sealed with wax. The closed envelope is put in another thick brown envelope, which has a red 'X' on it. The instructions are that the envelope can be opened only by an officer above the status of an Additional Secretary to the Government of India. 

While this correspondent is privy to such 'dramatic moments' inside the South Block, to have a glance at those six pages would certainly be a 'bombshell'.

15th Finance Commission to get a new leader 

Will 'Nandu' Nand Kishore Singh from Bihar head the 15th Finance Commission? New Delhi is agog with speculation. PM Modi is in discussions with Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, about the constitution of the Commission and for the first time, a Bihari might head the Commission.

Insiders say that there shall be a notification on the 15th Finance Commission by early August. Other names also making the rounds include current Union Home Secretary Rajiv Maharishi - a favourite IAS officer of Arun Jaitley. 

The name of former Economic Affairs Secretary Sakthikant Dash is also making the rounds. But a final decision will be taken by the PM, and that will certainly be a political one. 

Things that are giving heft to the nomination of the 76-year-old NK Singh include his closeness to Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar. Apart from this, NK Singh is also a politician, economist and a former Indian Administrative Service officer. He is now a senior Member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

NK Singh was a JD(U) Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha (2008-2014) from Bihar. As a Member of the Planning Commission, he did much for Bihar. 

R Rajagopalan is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. The views expressed here are his own and do not reflect those of Asianet Newsable. 

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