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NEW DELHI: BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi on Wednesday admitted that he is a married man while filing his nomination papers from the Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency.
In his nomination papers, Modi filled the name of his wife as Jashodaben. She is a retired school teacher living in Brahmanwada village which is not far from Modi’s hometown of Vadnagar.
Modi, who is 63 now, married her when both were 17. But he left her after weeks without consummating their marriage and has never acknowledged her as his wife even as she has given interviews to newspapers.
It will be interesting how Modi’s disclosure about his marital status will impact his political campaign because during all the previous elections in Gujarat – from 2001 to 2012- he never disclosed his marital status.
Though his political opponents made noises about his marital status when he filed his nomination for a by-election in Rajkot in 2001, the issue died down and Modi went on to win three terms as chief minister.
However, the matter went to the Supreme Court last year when a PIL accused Modi of lying about marital status by not filling the required columns in his nomination papers for the Maninagar assembly seat in the 2012 Gujarat elections.
But the apex court left the matter to the Election Commission. Taking cognisance of the top court’s observation, the Election Commission has this year made filling up of all columns in nomination papers as mandatory. Candidates face disqualification if they don’t fill up all the columns.
Thus, Modi was left with no choice except to accept that he is a married man.