Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah’s unchallenged re-election to the post was a foregone conclusion. But his first full term in office will see him start off on a different note from his previous tenure which began in 2014.
Then, he rode high on the BJP’s electoral victory—the guiding hand behind Narendra Modi’s rise to premiership.
Now, he must marshal the party after a chastening 2015 that saw two high profile electoral defeats—in Delhi and Bihar—and work out a strategy for the five assembly elections coming up this year.
Most of these polls are tough sells for the BJP, and particularly troubling for the party leadership, because they precede 2017’s critical Uttar Pradesh elections.
Modi’s economic evangelism has been undercut by protracted political struggles. How Shah guides the party through the upcoming trials will determine how much political space Modi has to deliver on the economic front.