The scale of the 63-year-old Modi's electoral triumph devastated his rivals and even his most ardent supporters. On the way he has re-written the rules of the electoral game with a brilliant though expensive campaign. Armed with a massive mandate, Modi neverthless faces challenging tasks ahead as he grapples with a weak economy and other problems left behind by his predecessor Manmohan Singh.
A consummate politician and the man of the moment, Modi is known for his bold and unconventional initiatives and is poised to evolve as the ultimate 'game-changer' of Indian politics. The premiership of Modi, who represents a fascinating turning point in the political history of the worlds largest democracy, promises to usher in dramatic changes and reforms.
During the course of his hectic Lok Sabha campaign, Modi, a four-time Gujarat Chief Minister, told his voters he had been chosen by God to do a "difficult task" and promised to replace the business as usual culture with purposeful governance. One of the trendiest male politicians in India, Modi, who pulled off what had looked like an impossible feat of winning a majority for BJP on the strength of his persona and a muscular poll campaign, dismisses charges of being authoritarian.
Modi has rewritten the rules of electoral game with brilliant campaigning
Modi told PTI during the campaign that he believed in team work and that those who worked with him believed that he was strong-willed and decisive. He accused his opponents of resorting to "vague, non-specific and subjective things like saying that I am authoritarian, jingoistic, divisive". There had never been any serious allegation of corruption, nepotism or incompetence against him, he said.
Modi may be one of the most riled leaders described variously as divisive, polarising and and a Hindutva-hardliner given the backdrop of the riots that had claimed over 1000 lives, mostly Muslims, in March, 2002 under his watch. But Modi is seen by his supporters as a "strong leader" who will not play the politics of appeasement of any section. A stocky, bespectacled man with a trimmed white beard, and known for his ascetic lifestyle and enthusiasm for yoga, Modi came under international glare due to the 2002 riots.