Hindu nationalist Modi crowned as India’s opposition prime minister candidate

September 13, 2013

(Gujarat’s chief minister Narendra Modi speaks during the “Vibrant Gujarat Summit” at Gandhinagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat January 12, 2013. REUTERS/Amit Dave )

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi was crowned as the candidate for prime minister of India’s main opposition party on Friday, cementing the remarkable rise of a leader adored by business but tainted by deadly religious riots that broke out on his watch.

On a path that from humble roots as the son of a tea-shop owner to running for leadership of the world’s biggest democracy, Modi has methodically built a fervent fan base.

But, a deeply polarizing figure, he has made many enemies along the way, even within his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Supporters believe he has the drive needed to salvage a sagging economy and make India a regional superpower. Detractors see an authoritarian extremist who could fan sectarian tension in the religiously diverse nation.

India is due to hold its largest-ever general election within eight months. Modi’s elevation means the poll will pit the business-friendly chief minister of Gujarat state against the centre-left Congress party, which critics say looks jaded after a decade at the head of a fractious ruling coalition.

Modi’s success at chaperoning Gujarat’s economic growth was for years overshadowed by religious riots just months after he took office in 2002. At least 1,000 people died in the violence, most of them Muslims at the hands of Hindu mobs.

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2 comments

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You are very quick to state “At least 1,000 people died in the violence, most of them Muslims at the hands of Hindu mobs” but what about those people (irrespective of any caste,community and religion) who were burnt alive in the train which triggered the religious riots.

In defense if you wanna say its a known fact than even your last sentence should not stand a place in this article either.

I believe whoever (from any caste and community) suffered and faced that bloody era was victim of a really bad time,let the wounds heal and please do not scratch this issue time and again

Posted by KamRR | Report as abusive

“but what about those people (irrespective of any caste,community and religion) who were burnt alive in the train which triggered the religious riots.”
Question who burned the train. Those who burned were safe and are safe because they have no caste or religion. But who suffered and why ? Because of their religion they were killed by the supporters of Narendra Modi. Today Modi is hero because of his secrete role in Gujrat roits. There is no difference between killers of Gujrat and those who support killings.

Posted by Roshnun | Report as abusive