Lucknow: Amit Shah, a close aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and national general secretary of the BJP, will begin his innings as party in-charge of Uttar Pradesh from June 12.

Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit said the controversial former Gujarat minister would be taking part in a meeting of office bearers at the Lucknow headquarters to ‘feel the pulse of the party’.

As part of his daylong engagements, Shah would interact with grassroots workers and hold deliberations with the top brass of the party, including state president Laxmikant Bajpayi. Shah's visit assumes significance as it would be days after the BJP's national executive in Goa June 7-9.

Important decisions about the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections of 2014 are likely to be taken in Goa. State BJP spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that Shah would be engaged in meetings that would have significance for the state organisation of the party.

Observers say Shah could be a polarizing factor in Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP positions itself as the principal opposition and attempts to corner the Akhilesh Yadav government on issues like power tariff hike and appeasement of minorities.

Shah was Gujarat home minister at the time of the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a staged shootout on Nov 26, 2005. He is an accused in the case and is out on bail. The Supreme Court had barred him from entering Gujarat since he could influence proceedings in the case but the bar was lifted after the case was shifted from Gujarat to Mumbai last year.


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