He is the architect of the BJP's incredible show in Uttar Pradesh, but on the election results day he was a picture of relaxed confidence in his home, says Sheela Bhatt/Rediff.com
Amit Shah was a picture of calm on Friday.
He is staying in the Jangpura area, South Delhi. On Friday, the day of the historic election results for his party, he woke up only at 8.15 am, by which time counting of votes had already begun.
On such a historic day for the Bharatiya Janata Party, Rediff.com had exclusive access to the political leader who helped Narendra Modi in a big way to rise to great heights.
He was reticent as usual. Amitbhai, architect of the BJP's astounding victory in Uttar Pradesh, switched on the television, put on Aaj Tak, and checked out the counting of votes for UP. He was attentive and silent, and only said, "We will cross 55 seats."
He added in a cold and composed way, "We will get 250 to 263 seats and the National Democratic Alliance will get 290 to 305 seats."
This was at around 9.30 am. His wife Sonalben brought tea, followed by poha-sev. Being a finicky Gujarati, he asked for fresh lemon to squeeze on the poha.
Meantime, television reporters were gathering outside the house, and two other senior editors joined Amitbhai. Things moved so fast and turned so one-sided that he had hardly anything to say except that he felt relaxed. After a round of poha he started calling the UP headquarters to check for reliable figures.
"After Anna Hazare's public protest in New Delhi," he said, "I had no doubt the UPA government was over."
Shah rented this home in New Delhi one year ago when he started going to Lucknow and chip by chip rebuilt the BJP organisation in UP.
Shah, like Modi, is not verbose in such exciting times. They are doers and don't show any exuberance at the time of victory. All such moments do have some moving moments though.
It was touching to see Amitbhai's teary eyes when he saw on television that Arun Jaitley was trailing from Amritsar. He just could not get over it for some time.
The man who is infamous as 'politically ruthless' was unable to overcome "Arunji's setback".
After he saw his efforts in UP were showing awesome results, his sister, who has come from Mumbai to join the celebration, started calling other siblings. And in the middle of national excitement, Amitbhai took some time off to talk to three other sisters and thanked them for all their blessings.
Shah has six sisters of whom two live abroad. His son Jai and wife Sonal looked thrilled at the electoral outcome and moved around with a spring in their steps. In between, Narendra Modi called, but he didn't share what was said between them.
But Shah asked Modi in Gujarati, Tamhe TV nathi jota? (Have you not seen TV?)." Modi said no. Then Amitbhai gave him the election result figures.
After putting up a super show Amitbhai was the picture of confidence that only power bestows. At the same time, he appeared absolutely level-headed, both before and after the historic result.