Modi fielded as Prime Ministerial candidate

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13.9.2013.  Narendra Modi has been nominated by BJP as its prime ministerial candidate in parliamentary elections set for next year in either April or May.

The choice of Modi, chief minister of the western state of Gujarat, was long expected but opposed by many even within his Bharatiya Janata Party. Several weeks of internal wrangling preceded Friday’s ceremonial announcement, at which the candidate was cheered and adorned with a garland of roses and jasmine.

Modi, 62, has won praise for turning Gujarat into an economic powerhouse and a magnet for foreign investment, but he comes with serious baggage, as many allege he did little to stop riots in his state in 2002 when hundreds of Muslims were killed. He was denied visa to U.S. in 2005 on the grounds that he had violated religious freedom during the riots.

Modi, at the nomination meeting referring to his modest beginnings and that he was the son of grocers and ran a family tea stall as a teenager, said, “Today the party has given a worker who hails from a small town and a modest family the responsibility to do a very important task,” and added. “I would like to appeal to the people to please give us the strength to get the country out of this crisis.”

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