Home Minister Amit Shah today paid tribute at the National Police Memorial in Delhi today, three days after he took oath for the first time as a cabinet minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. The 54-year-old, wearing a black jacket over his white kurta, could be seen standing beside top police officers at the memorial before he placed a wreath on the structure that honours police personnel.
The memorial in central Delhi's Chanakyapuri is spread over 6.12 acre and has a 30-foot-tall central sculpture made of granite, a museum and a "Wall of Valour" with the names of policemen who died on duty since Independence.
Amit Shah takes over the Home Ministry from Rajnath Singh, who has been given charge of the Ministry of Defence - a move that could be seen as a pared-down posting despite being within the "Big 4" grouping of Home, Finance, Defence and External Affairs.
Known for his ability to take tough decisions, Amit Shah is expected to give new shape not only to many aspects of internal security but also dynamics as far as relations with neighbouring countries - especially Pakistan - are concerned. As the Home Minister, he will also play a crucial role in defining the centre's relationship with states.
Jammu and Kashmir could be the biggest challenge before the new Union Home Minister. During election season, Amit Shah had promised voters that the PM Modi-led BJP would annul Article 35A of the Constitution because it discriminates against "non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir". He also called for the abolition of Article 370, which allows the state a separate flag and constitution.
The spotlight is also going to linger on illegal immigration under the new Home Minister. "Illegal immigrants are like termites. They are eating the grain that should go to the poor, they are taking our jobs," he had said at a rally in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.