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.