INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi is India’s 16th Prime Minister.
The most popular leader in India since Mahatma Gandhi, here’s the lowdown on the man who went from humble beginnings to leader of a booming India.
Who is Narendra Modi?
Narendra Modi has been in power since 2014.
He was born on September 17 1950.
Modi was elected with just over half the seats in the Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of Parliament, and less than one-third of the popular vote.
He is the former Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat and has often been ridiculed as an uneducated tea seller who rose from humble beginnings as the son of a grocer.
He is a strict vegetarian, and lives a frugal lifestyle. He has often been described as a workaholic and is always “on the job”.
Modi is also very Twitter-savvy and is the third most followed world leader with 39.6 million followers on his personal account.
Modi was initially dismissed by political pundits as a knee-jerk populist who came to power with nothing more than simplistic promises of revival.
Fighting his critics, Modi has risen to become one of the most popular Indian Prime Ministers of all time, with an approval rating of 88 per cent.
Modi’s tough and often unpopular economic reforms have put India on track to become the world’s fastest growing major economy in 2018.
Described globally as both an economic and political success, Modi is popular with people of Indian heritage in the UK.
Prime Minister Theresa May has high hopes of striking a post-Brexit trade deal with her popular counterpart, who is also set to be approached for an EU-India trade agreement.
What has he said about Kashmir at the G7 summit?
In July, India rejected Donald Trump’s offer to mediate between them and Pakistan.
Modi told reporters at the summit in France that Kashmir is a bilateral issue.
India has long refused outside attempts to resolve the conflict while Pakistan has sought international help.
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Trump said Monday that he’s available to help mediate, but Modi told him that he has the situation “under control.”
India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir.
India accuses Pakistan of arming insurgents who have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan.
Islamabad denies the charge. About 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.