New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah filed his nomination for the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat on Saturday amid a massive show of strength. The nomination was preceded by a rally in which big names from the national democratic alliance (NDA) were present. Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani also accompanied Shah. 

A jam-packed roadshow en route the nomination centre created a huge buzz. His election campaign was kickstarted by garlanding the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gandhinagar. 

Shah has replaced BJP veteran L K Advani, who had been winning uninterrupted in Gandhinagar since 1998, in this constituency. Shah is contesting the Lok Sabha poll for the first time in 2019. Shah's nomination from the Gandhinagar seat marks a generational shift in the BJP.

Advani may not have been physically present, but Amit Shah said, "My political career started in 1982 when I was a poll party head in Gandhinagar. I feel fortunate to be announced as BJP’s candidate from Lok Sabha seat which was once Lok Sabha seat to LK Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee".  

As an MLA, Shah had earlier represented Sarkhej constituency. After delimitation, he was an MLA from Naranpura constituency. Both the seats were under Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency.

The state BJP feels that Shah's nomination will energise the party in Gujarat and help it win all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Both Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are sons of the soil. 

Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, leaders of BJP's allies such as Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, SAD supremo Parkash Singh Badal, and LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan were present on the stage with Shah.

It was less of a nomination process and more of putting up a united strong face of the NDA. After months of bickering, even the Sena chief was seen firmly standing behind BJP. Uddhav Thackeray said, "Some people were celebrating thinking BJP and Shiv Sena are fighting, but we are on the same track now". 

Another ally SAD supremo Prakash Singh Badal too stood strong and put forth a united face, "Amit Shah is India’s biggest organiser and campaigner, he was chief campaigner and organiser in 2014 when Narendra Modi was elected as Prime Minister of India."