India's opposition leader, Narendra Modi, may be the front-runner to lead Asia's third-biggest economy in the general election that starts next week but he is a divisive figure both at home and abroad.
Some view him as a Hindu extremist, who, as the head of the north-western state of Gujarat, allegedly turned a blind eye while mobs attacked Muslims during riots in 2002. The violence triggered a travel ban on Modi by the U.S. and some European countries such as Britain.
Others say Modi is an effective administrator; his policies of opening up Gujarat's economy – a major manufacturing hub of India – and making it easier to do business there have proved successful and are just what the sluggish broader economy needs.
"If you look at the opinion polls, Modi is clearly the front-runner and it doesn't feel like the assessment of who is leading the polls is going to change anytime soon," said Rahul Bajoria, a regional economist at Barclays.
"In terms of his state's performance, Gujarat has consistently outperformed the overall economy," Bajoria added. "Modi is viewed as someone that takes decisions."