(Reuters) - India’s Hindu nationalists, led by controversial politician Narendra Modi, were set to return to power in the key western state of Gujarat, a verdict that could mean a setback to Congress party plans to call early national polls.
Here are some key facts about Modi, who is accused of turning a blind eye and even encouraging the killing of hundreds of Muslims during communal riots in 2002.
* Born on September 17, 1950, in the small town of Vadnagar in Mehsana district in north Gujarat, Modi started as a campaigner for the right-wing Hindu Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and worked as a BJP election manager.
* He was appointed chief minister of Gujarat in October 2001, nine months after an earthquake killed more than 20,000 people in the state.
* He returned to power in elections in 2002 on an overt pro-Hindu, anti-Muslim platform, months after between 1,200 and 2,500 people, most of them Muslims, were killed in communal riots.
* In March 2005, the United States revoked his visa for what it said were violations of religious freedom despite his party being known to promote closer ties with Washington.
* A bachelor and a workaholic, he is known to be a loner who meditates, is particular about what he wears, spends time on his laptop computer and also has his own Web site.
Compiled by Rupam Jain Nair, editing by Y.P. Rajesh