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Narendra Modi Biography

Narendra Damodardas Modi, generally known as Narendra Modi is the current Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat and the BJP‘s Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections. He was selected by L.K Advani, the leader of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in 2001 to give a direction to the election campaign in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Mr. Modi was elected as Chief Minister of Gujarat on October 7th, 2001 and is the longest portion Chief Minister of the state. In the 2012 Gujarat legislative assembly election he won his fourth electorate term as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Family

Although there isn’t enough about Modi’s personal life in the public domain, the political discourse sometimes throws up bits of facts and stories. He was born into a middle class family of six in Vadnagar in Mehsana District (then Bombay state) to Damodardas Mulchand Modi and Heeradben Modi. He was bethrothed when quite young, but chose to walk away from the marriage and has remained a bachelor.

Born: September 17, 1950 (age 63), Vadnagar

Nationality: Indian

Education: Gujarat University

Party: Bharatiya Janata Party

Parents: Heeraben, Damodardas Mulchand Modi

Modi started as a Tea-Seller on Ahmedabad Bus Station and by utilizing his adversity to his benefits a trait that has become a hallmark of his political career too, achieve something many Indians at his social level could not.

Once he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), Modi worked as a ”pracharak” in the Kangra region of Himachal Pradesh where people remember him as a docile and humble man, an image contrary to his present one.

During Modi”s tenure in New Delhi as the BJP”s national spokesman in the late 1990s, he went to the US for a three-month course on public relations and image management. This apparently now helps him to get the publicity he desires.

Narendra Modi’s abilities and leadership qualities were seen in the early days of his student life when he became the student leader of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (All India Students Council). He played a prominent role in the anticorruption movement in 1974 in Gujarat.

He enter politics in 1987 by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. Within a year, he was elevated to the level of General Secretary of the Gujarat unit of the party. In 1995 he was made the National Secretary of the party in-charge of five major states in India – a rare distinction. He traveled at length throughout the world, which helped him to develop a global perspective.

After carving a niche for himself in the national politics as a master strategist, he took over as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on 7th October 2001.

First Stint as Chief Minister of Gujarat

Times were turbulent in Gujarat with allegations of corruption and poor governance doing the rounds. After Shankarsingh Vaghela left the BJP, Keshubhai Patel was made Chief Minister of Gujarat and Modi became General Secretary of the party in Delhi. Weak handling of the effects of the Bhuj Earthquake in 2001 prompted the BJP’s national leaders to seek a new candidate as chief minister, after the removal of Keshubhai Patel. In October 2001, Modi was brought in to fill the vacuum and made Chief Minister of Gujarat despite his lack of experience in governance. At first, the BJP was not very keen on having him at the forefront and the party was contemplating the position of deputy CM for him, which he refused. He wrote to Advani, and the then Prime Minister Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, stating that he was either “going to be fully responsible for Gujarat or not at all”. In July 2007, he became the longest-serving Chief Minister in Gujarat’s political history.

In the Gujarat legislative assembly elections of 2012, Narendra Modi won the constituency of Maninagar over the Indian National Congress, with a majority of 86,373 votes. The BJP won 115 out of the 182 seats and formed its government in Gujarat. This was Narendra Modi’s fourth term as the Chief Minister. The following year in March, he was appointed as member to the BJP Parliamentary Board which is the highest decision-making body of the party. He was also nominated as a member of the party’s Central Election Committee.

A self-made man

Besides being a respected orator and a prolific writer, he is also a caring son and a man with his brand of humor. Those who have associated with him for long are of the opinion that the idea of power is exciting to him. Next time you wonder how he could garner so much of national attention, think of this. He underwent a rigorous training in the US on public relations and image management.

When it comes to taking lessons on brand building, Modi says there’s no greater inspiration than Mahatma Gandhi. His eulogies about Gandhi come from the fact that “He spoke of Ahimsa but carried a stick. He never wore a cap but the world wears a Gandhi Topi.” Modi’s careful metamorphosis from a Hindutva party man to a pro-development leader and change maker speaks volumes for his image-building ability. His 2-year long escapade into the Himalayas and co-mingling with the yogic sadhus gave him a fair understanding of Hinduism. That partly explains why people listen to him in rapt attention when he talks of ideologies.

Awards and recognitions

  • Gujarat Ratna, conferred by Shri Poona Gujarati Bandhu Samaj
  • e-Ratna award by the Computer Society of India
  • Best Chief Minister, according to a 2006 India Today survey
  • Personality of the Year Award (Asia) for 2009 by the fDi magazine
  • Featured on the cover of Time magazine (Asia) in March 2012

Role in National Politics

The year 2013 proved extremely successful for Modi as he projected himself on the center stage. The BJP elected him as Chairman of the Central Election Campaign Committee of the BJP, along with growing clamor for Modi’s name for the position of Prime Minister.

Prime Ministerial Candidate

In a decision that polarized the party, the BJP determined to cash in on Modi’s growing recognition and selected him as the PM candidate for the 2014 polls. In September 2013, BJP announced Modi as prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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