Narendra Damodardas Modi (born 17 September 1950) is the 14th and current Prime Minister of India, in office since 26 May 2014. Modi, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014 and is the Member of Parliament from Varanasi. He led the BJP in the 2014 general election, which gave the party a majority in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian parliament), for the first time since 1984 general elections.
Since Modi’s taking office as Prime Minister, his administration has focused on reforming and modernising India’s infrastructure and government, reducing bureaucracy, encouraging increased foreign direct investment, improving national standards of health and sanitation and improving foreign relations.Earlier, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi’s economic policies (credited with encouraging economic growth in Gujarat) have been praised, although his administration has been criticised for failing to significantly improve the human development in the state and for failing to prevent the 2002 Gujarat riots. A Hindu nationalist and member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Modi remains a controversial figure domestically and internationally.
Modi was born on 17 September 1950, to a family of grocers in Vadnagar, Mehsana district, Bombay State (present-day Gujarat) He was the third of six children born to Damodardas Mulchand Modi (1915–1989) and Heeraben Modi (b. c. 1920). Modi’s family belonged to the Modh-Ghanchi-Teli (oil-presser) communit which is categorised as an Other Backward Class by the Indian government.
In 2001, Keshubhai Patel’s health was failing and the BJP had lost seats in the by-elections. Allegations of abuse of power, corruption and poor administration were made, and Patel’s standing had been damaged by his administration’s handling of the 2001 Bhuj earthquake.The BJP national leadership sought a new candidate for chief minister, and Modi (who had expressed misgivings about Patel’s administration) was chosen as a replacement
In accordance with Ghanchi tradition, Modi’s marriage was arranged by his parents when he was a child. He was engaged at age 13 to Jashodaben, marrying her when he was 18. They spent little time together and grew apart when Modi began two years of travel, including visits to Hindu ashrams. Reportedly, their marriage was never consummated and he kept it a secret because otherwise he could not have become a ‘pracharak’ in the puritan Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS)Although Modi kept his marriage secret for most of his career, he acknowledged his wife when he filed his nomination for a parliamentary seat in the 2014 general elections