Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi secured his fourth term as chief minister of India's Gujarat State, despite his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, in which some 1,000 Muslims were killed.
The Hindu nationalist leader of the western state of Gujarat, known for his alleged role in the 2002 riots in which 1,000 Muslims were killed, won his fourth consecutive term as chief minister in a landslide on Thursday. The victory puts the controversial figure on track to be a strong contender for prime minister of India in 2014.
Despite the controversy surrounding Chief Minister Narendra Modi, he played a critical role in putting Gujarat on a path of consistent economic growth. His win also marks a major defeat for the Congress party, which came in a distant second with 61 seats in the general assembly, compared with 118 seats for his Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).
Mr. Modi stands out for many as a viable leader because of his recent record of good governance, development, and economic growth, coupled with the Indian Congress’s failure to effectively manage the country.
“It’s the vacuum of leadership that has India desiring a really strong leader who can take action and take this country forward,” says pollster Yahswant Deshmukh. “That’s why even a polarizing figure like Modi is being talked about and looked upon to give that kind of leadership.”