The most powerful Indians in 2014: No. 31-40
The most powerful Indians in 2014: No. 11-20

The most powerful Indians in 2014: No. 21-30

Indian Express: The most powerful Indians in 2014

See who is placed where this year. See who is placed where this year.

RANK 21: JAGAN REDDY, 41

reddy

President, YSR Congress

Rank (2013): 36

WHY
As perhaps the most popular political leader in Andhra Pradesh, he holds all the aces for the general elections. His YSR Congress Party is expected to sweep the Assembly elections in Coastal and Rayalaseema districts and perform better than the Congress and TDP in the Lok Sabha elections. He is also expected to play a key role in the formation of the next government at the Centre.

POWER PUNCH
The proposed new state of Telangana has confined him to coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema but he poses a formidable challenge to the Congress and TDP. Leaders from other parties are making a beeline to join his YSR Congress Party.

WHAT NEXT
Trends indicate that his YSR Congress Party is expected to perform well in the 2014 general elections.

BY THE WAY
He has a personal videographer — Vamsi Krishna, a cameraperson with Sakshi TV —  who records every moment of Jagan’s
public life.

RANK 22: MULAYAM SINGH YADAV, 74

mulayam

President, Samajwadi Party

Rank (2013): 10

WHY
As leader of the third largest party in the Lok Sabha, Mulayam has added weight with his party ruling the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.

POWER PUNCH
Mulayam was acquitted from a disproportionate assets case after the CBI told the Supreme Court that there was no evidence to make out such a case against him and his two sons.

WHAT NEXT
With the Congress downhill, the SP chief envisages regional parties gaining ground and expects the SP to play a crucial role in government formation after the Lok Sabha elections.

BY THE WAY
A former bantam weight wrestler, aggressively secular and yet a Hanuman bhakt.

RANK 23: CYRUS PALLONJI MISTRY, 45

mistry

Chairman, Tata Group

Rank (2013): 50

WHY
Having completed one year as the chairman of the largest diversified Indian business group, Mistry demonstrated a smooth leadership transformation and had a steady start. He also built a young team of his own during the year that may last with him during his tenure as the chairman of the group.

POWER PUNCH
In his first year, he led the group to make its second entry into the aviation sector in alliance with Singapore Airlines and also entered into a joint venture with Tesco for multi-brand retail.

WHAT NEXT
While the domestic operations of Tata Motors need a closer look, steel, power and telecom businesses also need attention.

BY THE WAY
He is a foodie and also enjoys reading books on business.

RANK 24: PRIYANKA VADRA, 42

priyanka

Congress leader

Rank (2013): 11

WHY
Because she is the biggest influence on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Even mother Sonia Gandhi turns to her for vital political inputs. Although her political activities are confined to their Lok Sabha constituencies, she has started playing a much larger role behind the scenes in formulating the party’s campaign strategy.

POWER PUNCH
She was the guiding force behind Rahul’s speech after his appointment as Congress vice-president in Jaipur last year.

WHAT NEXT
While she will continue to look after the Lok Sabha constituencies of her mother and brother, it’s fingers crossed in the Congress on whether she will play a larger role in the party after the general elections.

BY THE WAY
Spends hours with her children on their homework. With both children in boarding schools now, she will have more time on her hands.

RANK 25: V S SAMPATH, 64

sampath

Chief Election Commissioner

(New on the list)

WHY
Because as CEC, he will preside over independent India’s biggest-ever election.

POWER PUNCH
AS CEC, the soft-spoken 1973-batch Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS office has re-ignited the debate on criminalisation of politics and “paid news”. His statement that Right to Reject was an “idea inherent to democracy, whose time for execution has come” had the political class worried.

WHAT NEXT
Conducting the coming general elections and curbing the widespread use of money and muscle-power.

BY THE WAY
While many are aware of Sampath’s closeness to late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy, not many know that the decision to appoint Sampath as Election Commissioner was finalised the day Congress president Sonia Gandhi returned from a trip to Hyderabad.

RANK 26: SHIVRAJ SINGH CHOUHAN, 55

shivraj

Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh

Rank (2013): 24

WHY
The unassuming leader helped the BJP return to power for the third time in the MP assembly polls. Having completed eight years in office, he has become the longest serving non-Congress CM in a state which was once a Congress bastion.

POWER PUNCH
Though surveys had given the BJP a clear edge in MP under him, no one expected the tally to reach 165 seats due to possible anti-incumbency.

WHAT NEXT
The BJP has launched Mission 29 to win all the Lok Sabha seats in MP. The man wears his secular credentials on his sleeve but takes pains to publicly stress that he is not in the prime ministerial race. Could still be the dark horse in the event of the NDA needing allies to form the government.

BY THE WAY
He loves to munch on roasted makhanas.

RANK 27: RANJIT SINHA, 60

ranjit

CBI Director

Rank (2013): 65

WHY
He took on the UPA government by accepting the Supreme Court’s remark that the CBI was a “caged parrot”. He has been fighting for financial and functional autonomy of the agency.

POWER PUNCH
His acknowledgement in the Supreme Court about interference by then law minister Ashwani Kumar cost the latter his job.

WHAT NEXT
He will have over six months left in service after the new government takes over and his role during that period would be keenly watched as he has not had the best of equations with the incumbent government. It will be interesting to see Sinha’s posting after he retires on November 14.

BY THE WAY
He was a geologist in Patna, loves to play golf.

RANK 28: R M LODHA, 64

lodha

Chief Justice designate

(New on the list)

WHY
The soon-to-be Chief Justice of India will have five months in office after he takes over in April-end. Besides presiding over a bench that deals with an array of cases, he is also the Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority.

POWER PUNCH
Broadening the ambit of the coal blocks allocation case, he not only delved on the legality of the process but also issued a slew of directives to free the CBI from political control.

WHAT NEXT
He will pronounce the verdict on the coal blocks allocation case. His bench will decide whether it was constitutionally valid for Delhi’s former CM Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet to sit on a protest.

BY THE WAY
The judge who will take over as CJI next month is related to Justice GS Singhvi, who retired from the SC sometime ago. His sister is married to Singhvi’s brother.

RANK 29: NITISH KUMAR, 63

nitish

Chief Minister, Bihar

Rank (2013): 9

WHY
Took a gamble by standing up to Narendra Modi. Even after dumping the BJP, is holding fort despite having only 91 MLAs in the House.

POWER PUNCH
He has carefully cultivated the “EBC-Mahadalit” combine, who form 32 per cent of Bihar’s electorate.

WHAT NEXT
He has been instrumental in forming a non-BJP, non-Congress “federal front” and could be the man to watch out for in case of a hung Parliament.
by the way Washes his hands with tepid water and lime juice before every meal.

BY THE WAY
Washes his hands with tepid water and lime juice before every meal.

RANK 30: NARAYANSWAMI SRINIVASAN, 69

srinivasan

President, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)

Rank (2013): 73

WHY
For steadfastly holding his ground despite the unyielding storm around him when his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested for alleged involvement in IPL betting and his position as Indian cricket’s supremo seemed untenable.

POWER PUNCH
Srinivasan has ensured that the richest board in world cricket gets richer by orchestrating an ambitious overhaul in the ICC’s corridors of power and making India unofficially the ultimate authority.

WHAT NEXT
He takes over as ICC chairman from July.

BY THE WAY
Godfather is his all-time favourite book.

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