New Delhi, August 2: Friendship, the cherished relation that cuts through caste, colour and creed barriers, exists in all realms of life. Even in the imbroglio of Indian politics, a number of contemporary political pairs are known for their bonhomie and alliances to achieve electoral success. On Friendship Day 2020, here is a list of five notable friendships in Indian politics.
Narendra Modi and Amit Shah
PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah (Photo Credits: PTI)
The most dominant leadership pair, not only in the current political scenario but arguably in the history of independent India's politics, is that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Their ascent within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was parallel.
During his days as the Gujarat Chief Minister, Modi trusted Shah as his topmost lieutenant. Their ties deepened as Modi jumped to the national centrestage. Shortly before Modi was announced as the prime ministerial candidate under massive pressure from cadre, the party also chose to hand over the reigns of BJP to Shah.
During the first stint of NDA government, Shah headed the BJP, whereas, Modi presided over the Centre-ruling regime. After the 2019 general elections victory, Modi decided to appoint Shah as his closest aide in the government, by authorising him with the charge of Home Ministry.
Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal with his deputy Manish Sisodia (Photo Credit: IANS/File)
Two right to information (RTI) activists joined hands for the movement against graft and lack of transparency in the government. Their alliance turned stronger during the Anna Hazare agitation of 2011. It further strengthened with the formation of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2012, with both listed as the founding members. The two men are Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia.
Following the shock results in 2013 Delhi polls, Kejriwal was sworn in as the Chief Minister and Sisodia as a Member of his Cabinet. After the landslide win in 2015, Sisodia was appointed as first-ever Deputy CM of Delhi. The same strategy was repeated by Kejriwal after the victory in 2020 assembly elections - which proved that Sisodia to this date remains his most trusted political aid and, in his own words, "a close friend".
Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar With Dy CM Sushil Modi | (Photo Credits: PTI/File)
Another CM-Deputy CM pair known for their close friendship is Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Dy CM Sushil Kumar Modi. In this case, both the leaders belong to two different parties. While Nitish heads the Janata Dal (United), Sushil is a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
They first joined hands in 2005, when the BJP-JD(U) alliance came to power in the state. They led the government for eight consecutive years, till Nitish walked out of the NDA after Narendra Modi was projected as the prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Sushil, despite turning into an opposition leader, was known for respecting Nitish. In 2017, when the JD(U) decided to break free from the Congress-RJD alliance and re-join the saffron camp, Sushil was once again entrusted as the Deputy CM of the state.
K Chandrasekhar Rao and Asaduddin Owaisi
KCR with Owaisi brothers | File Image | (Photo Credits: PTI)
"Friendly parties" was the term used by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to describe his party TRS' relations with Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM. According to analysts, not only the two parties but the two leaders are also "close friends".
Owaisi, on a number of occasions, has lauded the "secular credentials" of KCR and appreciated the initiatives taken by the TRS government for upliftment of minorities. The AIMIM chief also extended tacit support to KCR's party in the 2018 assembly elections in seats where the former was not in a contest.
Owaisi is also known for influencing the decisions of KCR on an array of issues. While the TRS was initially muted on the passage of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the Parliament, vociferous protest against the law by the Hyderabad MP led to a strongly-worded anti-CAA resolution being enacted by the Telangana Assembly.
Hardik Patel and Jignesh Mevani
Hardik Patel Jignesh Mevani, Kanhaiya Kumar at a demonstration in 2016 | (Photo Credits: PTI)
The two young guns of Gujarat politics are known for their bonhomie ever since they shared the stage to protest against the alleged political targeting of the then Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students in 2016. Since then, Patel and Mevani - though representing two different social groups - have found a common political foe in the ruling BJP.
Patel represents the Patidar community and emerged as a leader following the Patidar quota agitation in 2015. Mevani, a Dalit, was on the forefront in 2016 while leading a protest against the alleged ostracisation and atrocities committed against his community members in Una.
Their political entry and success also ran parallel. While Mevani was elected as an independent legislator in the 2018 Gujarat assembly elections, Patel rose through the Congress ranks to enter the party's state top brass. In July this year, he was appointed as the Working President of the Pradesh Congress Committee in Gujarat. At the age of 27, he is the youngest occupant of the post.