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Scandals dog top aide to India's would-be PM Modi

Published on Apr 8, 2014 11:29 AM
 
Amit Shah, a portly and bearded 50-year-old, has become Modi's closest confidante and key political manager. He is widely expected to take a senior role in any future Modi-run administration. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (AFP) - For a politician running on a platform of clean government, having a key aide facing murder and extortion charges could be seen as a liability - but not by the man tipped to be India's next prime minister.

Narendra Modi, the hardline Hindu nationalist leading the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) into elections this week, first met former stockbroker Amit Shah in the 1980s when both of them were volunteers.

Over the years, Shah, a portly and bearded 50-year-old, has become his closest confidante and key political manager. He is widely expected to take a senior role in any future Modi-run administration.

"Everyone in the party understands that the shortest path to Modi goes via Shah," said one party insider, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

 
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