Modi admits having wife

Reuters . Ahmedabad

Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist who is front-runner to become India’s next prime minister, has publicly stated for the first time that he is married.
He made the declaration in election papers filed this week, having long avoided questions on his personal life.
Modi has campaigned as the standard bearer of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, which polls show will win the biggest chunk of parliamentary seats in the five-week election that started on Monday, but fall short of a majority.
Yet the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat is a solitary figure who has little contact with his family and entered politics through a grassroots Hindu organisation that prizes celibacy. He rarely gives interviews and little is known about his private life.
India’s ruling Congress party has repeatedly called for Modi to disclose his marital status, following local reports in recent years that he had an arranged marriage at the age of 17 to a woman whom he soon deserted but never officially divorced. Critics say the episode exposes his poor attitude to women.
In election papers filed on Wednesday to run for a seat in Gujarat’s Vadodara constituency, Modi wrote the name ‘Jashodaben’ in a mandatory column regarding his marital status. He had left the column blank on previous occasions, including in the last Gujarat state election in 2012.

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