Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s announcement by the Bhartiya Janata Party as its prime ministerial candidate for 2014 General Elections made headlines not only in India but was also covered by the world media.
Here are what some of them had to say –
Britain`s Guardian whose headline read as - India`s BJP names Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi as election candidate – wrote, "The main Indian opposition party has named a controversial Hindu nationalist as its candidate for general elections scheduled for next spring, setting up a contest between two very different visions of India in what are expected to be closely fought polls."
"Modi came from humble origins to win power in the western state of Gujarat and will now be projected onto the national stage. Critics see him as an extremist who, when chief minister in 2002, allowed or even encouraged mobs to attack Muslims in towns across Gujarat after a lethal fire supposedly started by Muslims on a train full of Hindu pilgrims. He denies the charge. Others, including some of the most powerful industrialists in India, say he is an effective, honest administrator who has introduced policies that have boosted development and reduced poverty in his state," it added.
USA`s The New York Times headlines said - Narendra Modi is Opposition party’s prime ministerial candidate. And it wrote – "Few Indian politicians evoke dislike and admiration as intense as that inspired by Mr Modi. He has been re-modelling himself as a pro-business, pro-development leader who can bring about economic growth and make difficult decisions. Yet the ghosts of the 2002 sectarian violence haunt him. A riot in which more than 1,000 Muslims were killed and tens of thousands displaced from their homes under his watch in Gujarat."
"In 2005, the United States government denied MrModi a diplomatic visa and revoked his existing tourist/business visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes a foreign government official who is responsible for particularly severe violations of religious freedom ineligible for an American visa. The decision placed Mr. Modi in the company of, among others, associates of Slobodan Milosevic and an Indonesian Army general who was suspected of torture. Mr Modi has been lobbying to have the decision reversed," it added.
Another US newspaper in its story - Narendra Modi, controversial Hindu leader, is his party’s nominee for Indian prime minister – wrote, "Modi, 62, has won praise for turning Gujarat into an economic powerhouse and a magnet for foreign investment, but he comes with serious baggage, as many allege he did little to stop riots in his state in 2002 when hundreds of Muslims were killed."
And the Wall Street Journal (USA) wrote, "India`s biggest Opposition party chose a contentious candidate for prime minister in upcoming elections, saying that his pro-business stance can revive India`s stumbling economy but sparking criticism that his strident Hindu nationalism makes him an unsuitable leader. The right-leaning Bharatiya Janata Party`s choice of Narendra Modi effectively kicks off its campaign to wrest control of Parliament from the center-left Congress party, which has governed India since 2004.
TIME had this to say - India’s main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Friday evening put months of conjecture to rest and announced Narendra Modi, chief minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat and a hugely controversial and divisive figure in Indian politics, as their prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming general elections in March next year. The headline was - It`s official: Narendra Modi set to challenge India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.
Closer home Pakistani paper Dawn reaction was - Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi was crowned as the candidate for prime minister of India`s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. BJP president Rajnath Singh made the announcement in a brief statement to journalists, cementing the remarkable rise of a leader adored by business, yet tainted by deadly religious riots that broke out on his watch.