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India's Modi appoints aide troubled by murder charges as BJP chief

Published on Jul 9, 2014 4:47 PM
 
Amit Shah, a leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gestures as he arrives to attend the BJP parliamentary party meeting at parliament house in New Delhi May 20, 2014. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tightened his grip on the reins of power Wednesday after the appointment of his most trusted aide, Amit Shah, as president of the ruling Hindu nationalist party. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tightened his grip on the reins of power Wednesday after the appointment of his most trusted aide, Amit Shah, as president of the ruling Hindu nationalist party.

Shah, who has known Modi since the 1980s in his home state of Gujarat, is seen as a shrewd political organiser and tactician credited with delivering Modi's huge election victory in May.

He is also controversial, having been censured during the election for inflammatory comments after anti-Muslim riots and he faces murder and extortion charges dating back to his time as home minister in Gujarat.

"From today and with immediate effect, Amit Shah will take over as the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) president," outgoing president Rajnath Singh, who was named as home minister by Modi, told reporters.

 
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