Written by: Kriti Anand
With the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections over and the results being announced today, it looks like the Bhartiya Janata Party has some celebrations to indulge in, in the days ahead. All eyes are on the BJP leader, Mr. Narendra Modi, who will be becoming the Prime Minister of India second time in a row after this win. Mr. Modi was born on September 17th, 1950 in Vadnagar, Gujrat. His family was of modest means, and his struggle began early in life, balancing his studies with running a tea stall in Ahmedabad with his brother. At the age of seventeen, Modi left home to travel across India for two years. After he came back, he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, where he became a ‘Pracharak’ later in 1972.
Narendra Modi entered into politics through the RSS. He headed the student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), and actively participated in the anti-Emergency protests. He was noticed by senior political leaders and appointed the regional organizer of the newly-formed BJP in 1985. Mr. Modi became the General Secretary of the BJP’s Gujarat unit in 1988. He rose to the rank of General Secretary of BJP by 2001, and replaced Keshubhai Patel as the Chief Minister of Gujarat after his resignation the same year. Mr. Modi was elected to the legislative assembly soon after, and won the Gujarat Assembly elections three consecutive times. His administration has been accused of being complicit in the 2002 Gujarat riots, or otherwise criticized for its handling of it.
Mr. Narendra Modi was announced as the BJP’s candidate for Prime Minister in September 2013. In the 2014 elections, BJP won by a huge margin, giving the party a majority in the lower house of Parliament, for the first time for any single party since 1984. Modi became the first Prime Minister to be born in Independent India. In his tenure as Prime Minister, Modi launched the Swachcha Bharat Abhiyan, a high-profile sanitation campaign. He initiated the demonetization of high-denomination banknotes in November 2016, which fueled the flames of controversy. His strong communal and religious beliefs and the rhetoric of Hindutva also fed the fire of controversies surrounding Mr Modi.