Saturday, September 14, 2013

Narendra Modi Biography

           Narendra Damodardas Modi ( Born 17 September 1950), popularly known as NaMo, is the 14th and current Chief Minister of Gujarat, a state in western India, representing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He is the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP and the centre-right National Democratic Alliance for the upcoming 2014 Indian general elections.

Modi was a key strategist for the BJP in the successful 1995 and 1998 Gujarat state election campaigns. He first became chief minister of Gujarat in October 2001, being promoted to the office upon the resignation of his predecessor, Keshubhai Patel, following the defeat of BJP in by-elections. In July 2007, he became the longest-serving Chief Minister in Gujarat's history when he had been in power for 2,063 days continuously. He is currently into his fourth consecutive term as Chief Minister.

Modi is a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and is described as a Hindu nationalist by media, scholars and himself. Modi is a controversial figure both within India and internationally. While his administration has been criticised for the incidents surrounding the 2002 Gujarat violence, he has also been praised for his economic policies which are credited with creating the environment for the high economic growth in Gujarat.

Early life and education:

Modi was born on 17 September 1950 to a family of grocers in Vadnagar in Mehsana district of what was then Bombay State (present-day Gujarat), India. He was the third of six children born to Damodardas Mulchand Modi and his wife, Heeraben. While a teenager, Modi ran a tea stall with his brother around a bus terminus. He completed his schooling in Vadnagar, where a teacher described him as being an average student but a keen debater.

He began work in the staff canteen of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC), where he stayed till he became a full–time pracharak (propagator) of the RSS. After Modi had received some RSS training in Nagpur, which was a prerequisite for taking up an official position in the Sangh Parivar, he was given charge of Sangh's student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), in Gujarat. Modi organised agitations and covert distribution of Sangh's pamphlets during the Emergency. During his years in the RSS, Modi came in touch with Vasant Gajendragadkar and Nathalal Jaghda, leaders of the Jan Sangh, who later founded the BJP's Gujarat state unit. Modi remained a pracharak in the RSS while he completed his Master's degree in political science from Gujarat University.

Early political career:

The RSS seconded Modi to the BJP in 1987. While Shankarsingh Vaghela and Keshubhai Patel were the established names in the BJP, Modi rose to prominence after organising Murli Manohar Joshi's Ekta yatra (journey for unity). His electoral strategy was central to BJP's victory in the 1995 state elections.

Modi became the General Secretary of the BJP and was transferred to New Delhi where he was assigned responsibility for the party's activities in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Vaghela, who had threatened to break away from BJP in 1995, defected from the BJP after he lost the 1996 Lok Sabha elections. In 1998, Modi was promoted to the post of National Secretary of the BJP. While selecting candidates for the 1998 state elections in Gujarat, Modi sidelined people who were loyal to Vaghela and rewarded those who favoured Patel, thus ending factional divisions within the party. His strategies were key to winning those elections.

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