Outgoing party president Rajnath Singh, right, greets newly appointed BJP president Amit Shah wit Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center. Pic: AP.

NEW DELHI (AP) -€” A close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been appointed chief of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Amit Shah was unanimously chosen as the BJP’s new president at a meeting of party leaders Wednesday in New Delhi.

He replaces Rajnath Singh, who recently was sworn in as home minister in Modi’s Cabinet.

Shah is widely seen as the architect of the BJP’s spectacular win in northern India in the recent national election, especially in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.

He resigned as the junior home minister of Gujarat state and spent three months in jail in 2010 on charges of sanctioning the police killing of a small-time criminal and his wife. Shah, who denies the accusations, was released on bail and the case is ongoing.

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