The year also marked the rise of controversial Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi as the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for PM in next year’s general elections. The Gujarat chief minister, accused of not doing enough to protect Muslims in the 2002 riots, is a deeply polarising figure in Indian politics. He, however, has always denied these allegations. India’s ruling Congress party claims Mr Modi’s accession to the throne will divide the country on religious lines.
However, Mr Modi’s stature seems to be growing both inside and outside his party largely due to his energetic, nationalist speeches. He strongly attacks the Congress for corruption and promises to resolve the country’s economic problems. The year also marked the outstanding debut of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or Common Man’s Party, born out of a strong anti-corruption movement and tapping into popular disenchantment with the major political parties. The party won 28 seats in the Delhi assembly elections and its leader Arvind Kejriwal has become the chief minister of the state. Analysts say the AAP has offered itself as a credible alternative to people fed up with corruption, unresponsive politicians and high inflation.