India profile

President: Pranab Mukherjee

Prime Minister: Narendra Modi

BJP leader Narendra Modi gestures as he speaks at a rally on 10 May 2014 in Robertsganj, near Varanasi, India, during the campaign for the 2014 parliamentary elections. Mr Modi promised to revive a sickly economy

Hard-line Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi stormed into power on a surge of popular expectation and anger at corruption and weak growth.

Despite Mr Modi's polarising image, his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) scored an unprecedented landslide victory in the May 2014 parliamentary elections.

It was the first time in 30 years that a single party had won a parliamentary majority on its own.

The secular centre-left Congress Party, which has governed India for all but 11 years since independence, slumped to its worst ever poll result.

The result was a blow to its leader, Rahul Gandhi, a scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which has supplied three Indian prime ministers.

Campaigning on his record as chief minister of the economically successful western state of Gujerat, Mr Modi promised to revitalise India's flagging economy.

''Good days coming''

After initial results revealed the scale of his victory, Mr Modi tweeted: "India has won. Good days are coming".

Since he became chief minister in 2001, Gujerat's steady growth rate helped him build a reputation as a dynamic and efficient administrator, and gained him the support of India's business class.

But he is also accused by some of doing too little to prevent the state's 2002 religious riots, in which about 1,000 people - most of them Muslims - died.

Mr Modi denies the allegations, and during the 2014 campaign, he sought to assure Muslim voters that they had nothing to fear from a Modi premiership.

But he has never expressed remorse or apologised for the riots. A former aide, Maya Kodnani, was sentenced to 28 years in jail for her part in the unrest in 2012.

Tea seller's son

Born in 1950 in Gujerat as the son of a low-caste tea seller, Mr Modi first cut his political teeth as an organiser and propagandist for the right-wing Hindu Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organisation, which has close ties to the BJP.

His big political break came in 2001, when his predecessor as chief minister of Gujerat resigned following a devastating earthquake. Mr Modi went on to be re-elected three times.

He is known for refusing to comment on his personal life, amid suggestions he wanted to appear celibate to appeal to Hindu nationalists.

During the 2014 election campaign, he for the first time admitted to marrying his wife Jashodaben when he was 17. The couple live apart.

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