Narendra Modi profile infographic
Graphic shows life and times of Narendra Modi.
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POLITICS

Narendra Modi’s unstoppable rise

By Duncan Mil

May 21, 2024 - A decade after becoming prime minister, Narendra Modi aims for a historic third term. Many see Modi, 73, as a polarizing figure who evokes visceral reactions across the political spectrum.

Supporters believe he could make India an Asian superpower, while critics call him an extremist and a dictator.

Muslim groups say they often face discrimination and attacks and have been forced to live as “second-class” citizens under Modi’s rule -- an allegation denied by Modi‘s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“Mr Modi has done great work. We haven’t seen poor people getting so many welfare benefits under any other government,” says Shiv Johri Patel, a saree weaver in Modi’s constituency in the northern city of Varanasi.

In January, Modi opened the $220m Ram Mandir temple to the Hindu god Ram in Ayodhya, informally launching his campaign for a third term.

In a February nationwide poll, 42% of respondents said the opening of the temple was the major highlight of Modi’s government.

Modi has set a target of a supermajority in the 545-seat Lok Sabha -- the lower house of India’s Parliament -- up from 303 in 2019. The results will be announced on June 4.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 21/05/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images, Moving Pixels Company, Manish Bardia, Biswarup Ganguly
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