Chief Minister of western Gujarat state and main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addresses a public rally after his victory in Vadodara on May 16, 2014.(AFP PHOTO/INDRANIL MUKHERJEE)
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India's next prime minister, Narendra Modi, is the son of a poor tea seller and has long set his sights on the highest elected office in the world's largest democracy.... And my 90-year-old mother goes to vote in an auto-rickshaw," the white-bearded Modi boasted, punching a fist through the air as he claimed his place by India's poor masses.But despite playing up his folksy, common-man credentials, the 63-year-old Modi is widely seen as the darling of India's corporate world and a decisive, 21st-century administrator expected to revive job creation and economic growth.Born in 1950, Modi will be India's first prime minister born after the country's violent 1947 partition and independence from imperial Britain.Having studied political science in Indian universities, Modi formally entered politics in 1985 with the BJP, regarded as the political arm of the RSS.Modi and the BJP have been strategizing this campaign for years, launching Twitter accounts and promoting Gujarat's economy as one to emulate for development and modernity, though several Indian states topped Gujarat's average annual growth of 8.68 percent from 2001 to 2010 .
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