From ‘chaiwala’ to PM in waiting: The rise and rise of Narendra Modi
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Narendra Modi was born to Damodardas Moolchand Modi and Heeraben Modi in Mehsana, Gujarat. Since his adolescent age, he was inclined towards politics. He joined Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) to pursue a political career and have ever since been an ardent follower of RSS ideology. So firm was his belief on RSS that in his youth only once did he return to his home after joining the saffron organisation that too when his father died.
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A political science post graduate Modi worked relentlessly to bolster the grip of RSS on the people of Gujarat. His work for RSS and BJP bore fruit when he came close to senior BJP Leader LK Advani. Modi was entrusted with the responsibility of organising two crucial national events, the Somnath to Ayodhya Rath Yatra of L.K. Advani and a similar march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir in the North.
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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 (Organization), a post he held until October 2001.
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In 2001, Chief Minister Keshu Bhai Patel resigned from the post after a loss in by-polls. The party leadership gave opportunity to Modi to be the CM. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and the rest is history.
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It is not that Modi didn’t face any problems. He was welcomed in the chief minister office with an earth quake that killed many. In 2002, an anti-Muslim riot burned Gujarat. Modi was accused of working against Muslims in the riot. Though, the taint is still not washed away, Modi seems to be marching silently towards the prime ministerial position. His developmental drive in Gujarat seems to be weighing more than the accusations against him. However, it is still not clear whether the Muslims have forgiven him or not. If Modi becomes the prime ministerial candidate for BJP in 2012, it would be an acid test for him to establish his mass appeal that he is claiming to have achieved.
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