Modi was born on 17 September 1950 and raised in a small town in northern Gujarat. He completed his Masters in Political Science from the University of Ahmedabad, according to his affidavit to the Election Commission in 2019.In the early 1970s, Modi made his foray into the political arena by joining the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Over the next ten years, he continued to rise through the RSS’ hierarchy, and that included a lot of travel within the country.Modi joined the BJP only in 1987, at the age of 37. Within a year he was appointed the general secretary of the Gujarat branch of the party. BJP was still a smaller but a growing political force at the time. In 1990, BJP was part of the coalition government that was formed in Gujarat. Since BJP had many factions, Modi was just one of many important people.Five years down the line, the BJP formed its first-ever government as the single largest party in any state in the country. Modi had the trust of the new Chief Minister Keshu Bhai Patel but the celebration couldn’t last long.A revolt that followed, from a BJP faction led by Shankar Singh Vaghela, that eventually led to a compromise saw Patel being replaced as the Chief Minister and Modi being pushed out of the state in favour of his rivals. However, both Patel and Modi came back stronger in the 1998 elections. Keshubhai Patel was asked to step down from his post as Gujarat’s Chief Minister in October 2001. He was held responsible for the government’s poor response to the Bhuj earthquake just a year before. The natural calamity has led to the death of at least 20,000 people.But Patel’s loss was Modi’s gain as the latter stepped in to replace him as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.Four months down the line, in February 2002, Modi’s won his first-ever by-election and secured a seat in the Gujarat state assembly.Soon after, communal riots raged across Gujarat in 2002 while Modi was at the helm and many pointed the finger at him for doing little to stop the violence, which led to the death of thousands, a majority of whom were Muslims. But the accusations also brought him national attention. Despite the trials and controversies, Modi continued to win in Gujarat— in 2007 and in 2012 — and grew in prominence across the country.The 2000s gave him a reputation of an administrator and leader to be reckoned with. He was also given credit for Gujarat's rapid economic growth. And, that’s when rumours of Modi as a possible candidate for India’s Prime Minister started to fly.In 2012, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) gave Modi a clean chit in the riots case and said it found no evidence against him.Come June 2013, BJP officially announced that Modi would be the party’s chosen candidate for 2014 General Elections in India. In May 2014, both Modi and the BJP were victorious, winning a clear majority in Lok Sabha.Just a year earlier in 2019, he won the biggest mandate in over 30 years as he won a second term in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of Indian Parliament). Now, he is battling the coronavirus pandemic, a shrinking economy and the threat of conflict with China. As Modi turns 70, his plate is full and he has another three years at the helm.