Modi leads ranking of powerful Indians, Adani among top 10

| Updated: 29 February, 2024 12:57 pm IST

NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been ranked as the most powerful Indian in 2024, according to a list published by The Indian Express.The list, which features 100 influential personalities from various fields, reflects the power dynamics and shifts in India as the country gears up for another major election.


Modi, who has been leading the country since 2014, has maintained his dominance over the political landscape, with his popularity and charisma unmatched by any other leader. He is followed by his close aide and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, widely regarded as the second-in-command of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the master strategist behind its electoral victories.

The third spot goes to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, who heads the ideological fountainhead of the BJP and its affiliates. Bhagwat has been instrumental in shaping the agenda and vision of the BJP and its allies, as well as influencing the social and cultural discourse in the country.

The top 10 list is dominated by BJP and RSS leaders, who have consolidated their hold over the government and the party. The only exceptions are Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, who occupies the fourth position, and business tycoon Gautam Adani, who ranks tenth.

Chandrachud, who became the CJI in 2023, has been hailed as a reformer and a visionary, who has introduced several measures to improve the functioning and transparency of the judiciary. He has also presided over some landmark judgments, such as the striking down of the sedition law, decriminalising adultery, and recognising the right to privacy.

Adani, who is the chairman of the Adani Group, has emerged as one of the richest and most influential businessmen in the country, with interests in sectors such as energy, ports, airports, mining, and defence. He has also been a vocal supporter of Modi and his policies and has faced allegations of crony capitalism and environmental violations.

The other names in the top 10 list are External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and BJP national president J P Nadda.

The list also features several regional leaders, who have challenged the BJP’s dominance in their respective states or regions. Some of them are Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) Chief Nitish Kumar, and Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal.

The list also includes prominent personalities from the fields of business, entertainment, sports, media, academia, and civil society. Some of them are Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani, Tata Group chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran, actor Shah Rukh Khan, cricket captain Virat Kohli and BCCI secretary Jay Shah, Enforcement Directorate acting director Rahul Navin, Supreme Court judges Sanjiv Khanna and Indira Banerjee, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das, and activist Harsh Mander.

The list, based on consultations with experts and journalists, aims to capture the essence and diversity of power in India, and how it is exercised and contested in various domains. It also reflects the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the country and its people in the coming years.

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