By Rana Ayyub
On May 17, just before the end of the election season, Indian journalists were abuzz with news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would give his first-ever press conference. Modi has been the only prime minister in the history of independent India not to take questions from the press.
But instead of a news conference, Modi delivered a monologue. When asked to take questions, he looked to his left, to Amit Shah, then president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party party. Shah would answer all questions, Modi said.
Shah stepped up, as he has done for Modi for years now. He is the second-most-powerful man in India. Many in the party call him the invisible prime minister. Shah is Modi’s shadow, loyal attack dog, spokesman and campaign strategist. He has now been named home minister, one of the most influential cabinet positions.