Is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah an asset or liability in this make or break elections?
There is, however, no direct answer to the question at this juncture. Probably, Modi confidant Shah's alleged involvement in snooping on a young woman by Gujarat Police could prove extremely damaging for the Hindutva mascot in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Last week, two investigative portals - Cobrapost and Gulail - claimed that Shah, the former home minister of Gujarat had ordered illegal surveillance of a woman at the behest of one "saheb" in July 2009.
They had released taped conversation between Shah and an IPS officer to back up their claim, adding that its authenticity could not be confirmed. Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed tweeted: "For 'saheb' Amit Shah, then MoS Home, used cops to snoop on a young woman from Gujarat.
Everyone asking who is the 'saheb'? Media speculating!"
However, as soon as the tapes were revealed Pranlal Soni, father of the woman who was allegedly stalked, came out with a statement saying how he himself had requested Modi to "look after" his daughter.
While the Congress party demanded an inquiry into the matter by a sitting Supreme Court judge, the BJP dismissed the allegations, claiming it was the Congress party which was invading the girl's privacy.
Political pundits are of the view that the BJP has very little choice at present. It has projected Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. And Shah is Modi's most important protege, the only leader who enjoys his full confidence.
Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah during a function in Ahmedabad. File Photo. (PTI)
Text: Business Standard