New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Narendra Damodardas Modi, the first Prime Minister to be born in independent India, turned 70 on Thursday. Born to a Gujarati family — at a small town in Mehsana district of the state — on September 17, 1950, Modi served as Gujarat’s Chief Minister for nearly 13 long years, before becoming the nation’s premier in 2014 following an emphatic victory of Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha elections.

Five years later, he led his party to a second consecutive victory with a full majority, becoming the first Prime Minister outside of the Indian National Congress to do so. Ahead of his 70 birthday, let us take a look at over five decade long political career.

As a child, Modi helped his father sell tea near Vadnagar railway station. He left home after finishing high school and travelled around the country for two years. In 1971, he joined Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and set up a unit of the RSS’s students’ wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in his area. Over the next decade, he steadily grew in the organisation’s hierarchy, and there is no denying that his association with the RSS significantly benefited his subsequent political career.

Modi joined Bharatiya Janata Party in 1989 and within a year was promoted as the General Secretary of the Gujarat unit. In the succeeding years, he was instrumental in strengthening the party’s presence in the state. He was the national secretary of the party when the BJP came to power individually in 1995. Later, he was elevated to the post of General Secretary in 1998, and held the position till 2001.

Modi began his long tenure as the Gujarat’s Chief Minister on October 7, 2001, when he replaced the Keshubhai Patel. Months later in February 2002, he was elected to power in a by-poll

Modi’s political career entered a controversial phase during the communal riots that engulfed Gujarat in 2002 and killed hundreds of Hindus and Muslims. In the aftermath of the riots, cases were filed against the Gujarat Chief Minister, but a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team found no evidence to initiate prosecution proceedings against Modi personally.

Modi remained the Chief Minister of Gujarat for nearly thirteen years, during which he developed an image of development-oriented leader. He has been credited with encouraging economic growth in the state while serving at its helm.

In the year leading up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Modi established himself as a strong prime ministerial candidate. His party registerd an emphatic victory in the geneal elections and he was appointed as India’s Prime Minister. During his first tenure, Modi took several bold steps, including the surgical strike on terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

In 2019, Modi led his party to a second consecutive victory with a full majority, becoming the first Prime Minister outside of the Indian National Congress to do so. In the past one year under his leadership, the central government has taken several bold decisions, specifically the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and bringing the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta