Modi eyes third win in election

He has set a tentative target of increasing the size of the economy

By Agencies
April 13, 2024
Indian Prime Minister Modi attends the inauguration of the Global Trade Show ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024 in Gandhinagar on January 9, 2024. — AFP

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi often says he likes to think big, dream big and act big.


Having sold tea at a railway station as a boy while his mother washed dishes to make ends meet, the man who looks set to be only the second Indian to win three national elections in a row has come a long way from his humble beginnings. And, he is still thinking big.

Opinion polls ahead of the election starting on April 19 predict he will equal the three-term record of India’s first prime minister, the Western-educated and wealthy Jawaharlal Nehru, who famously called India’s independence in 1947 a “tryst with destiny”.

If he wins, it may be the 73-year-old Modi’s last term in office and he wants to cement a legacy of setting India on the path to abolishing poverty and becoming a fully developed nation by 2047, the 100th year of independence from British colonial rule.

He has set a tentative target of increasing the size of the economy by about eight times to $29 trillion by then and the per-capita income by about seven times to nearly $18,000, apart from securing a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

“I am dedicating every moment to making India a developed country,” Modi said at a campaign rally this month. “That’s why I am working 24X7 for 2047.”