Narendra Modi – Gujarat C.M
He became the chief minister of Gujarat in October 2001, promoted to the office at a time when his ancestor Keshubhai Patel had resigned, following the defeat of BJP in the by-elections. His tenure as chief minister began on 7 October 2001. In July 2007, he became the longest serving Chief Minister in Gujarat’s history when he had been in power for 2063 days continuously. He was elected again for a third term on 23 December 2007 in the state elections, which he had cast as a “referendum on his rule”.
Modi is a controversial figure both within India and internationally. His administration received heated criticism surrounding the 2002 Gujarat violence. However, he enjoys considerable support in his home state and is credited with the high economic growth in Gujarat under his government.
During the Indo-Pak war in the mid-sixties, even as a young boy, he volunteered to serve the soldiers in transit at railway stations. As a young man, he joined the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a student organization and was involved in the anti-corruption Nav Nirmāṇ (“Reconstruction”) Movement. After working as a full-time organizer for the organization, he was later nominated as its representative in the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Modi as an activist and politician
Modi was a campaigner in the RSS during his university years. He took up the challenging task of energizing the party team in right earnest. In partnership with Shankersinh Vaghela, Modi created a strong team base in Gujarat. In the initial period, Vaghela was seen as a mass leader, while Modi was recognized as a master strategist.
The party started gaining political mileage and formed a coalition government at the centre in April 1990. This partnership fell apart within a few months, but the BJP came to power with a two-thirds majority on its own in Gujarat in 1995. During this period, Modi was assigned of organizing two crucial national events, the Somnath to Ayodhya Rath Yatra (a political rally through India on a converted Toyota van) of L.K. Advani and a similar march from Kanyakumari (the southernmost part of mainland India, southernmost point of India being Indira point of Andaman and Nicobar islands) to Kashmir in the North. After the exit of Shankarsingh Vaghela from the BJP, Keshubhai Patel was made Chief Minister while Narendra Modi was sent to New Delhi as a General Secretary of the Party.
In 1995, Modi was appointed the National Secretary of the party and given the charge of five major states in India. In 1998, he was promoted as the General Secretary, a post he held until October 2001. In 2001, Narendra Modi was chosen by the party to be the Chief Minister of Gujarat after the removal of chief minister Keshubhai Patel.
Possible prime minister
In three opinion polls conducted by news agencies and magazines, Narendra Modi was declared the preferred choice for the post as Prime Minister in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.A C-Voter poll suggested that by projecting Modi as the Prime Minister candidate, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could gain a five percent increase in the vote share; it said that projecting Modi could increase NDA’s seats from 179 to 220, which is 52 short of majority.Commenting on the polls, Political scientist Ashutosh Varshney argued that a BJP Prime Minister was unlikely unless they were able to form broad coalitions with other parties, which so far they have not been able to do. Economists Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya stated “We are impressed by Modi’s economics.” Spiritual leaders Ramdev and Morari Bapu have supported Modi’s Prime Ministerial candidacy.