The most powerful Indians in 2014: No. 41-50
The most powerful Indians in 2014: No. 21-30

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

Indian Express: The most powerful Indians in 2014

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

RANK 31: SIDDARAMAIAH, 65

maiah

Chief Minister, Karnataka

(New on the list)

WHY
An OBC leader, he is key to creating a coalition of the backward, Dalit and minority communities for the Congress in Karnataka.

POWER PUNCH
In a party bereft of OBC leaders, Siddaramaiah, who has a clean personal record, is important in deciding the fortunes of the party in the Lok Sabha polls.

WHAT NEXT
A good performance for the party in the state is bound to increase his stock in the Congress.

BY THE WAY
He had to mortgage his house to fund his election campaign in 2004.

RANK 32: UDDHAV THACKERAY, 53

uddhav

President, Shiv Sena

Rank (2013): 53

WHY
Bearer of Bal Thackeray’s legacy and as the head of the Shiv Sena, he heads the fourth largest political party in Maharashtra.  He is holding the party together after his father’s death.

POWER PUNCH
What he lacks in oratory skills, he more than makes up for it in his organisational skills.

WHAT NEXT
Formerly the dominant partner in the Sena-BJP alliance, this will be the first time that the Shiv Sena will be forced to take a back seat. Plans to regain his clout by targeting to win more than the 11 seats that his party bagged in the 2009 Lok Sabha.

BY THE WAY
He’s an avid photographer.

RANK 33: VASUNDHARA RAJE, 60

scindhia

Chief Minister, Rajasthan

(New on the list)

WHY
Led the BJP to a thumping victory in the assembly polls for the second time. Bagged a record 163 of the 200 seats in Rajasthan.

POWER PUNCH
She silenced dissenters within the party, and made it clear that she would lead from the front. She stepped down from the post of Leader of Opposition in the assembly, took over as the party state president and led an 80-day statewide tour.

WHAT NEXT
She has launched Mission 25, hoping to win all 25 parliamentary seats in the state.

BY THE WAY
Raje is fond of old family photos and owns a large collection of rare pictures. Stacks of albums with black and white pictures of her ancestors lie in her study in Jaipur.

RANK 34: DEEPAK PAREKH, 69

deepak

Chairman, HDFC Ltd

Rank (2013): 42

WHY
The man for all seasons, Delhi’s policymakers value his feedback. He chairs several government panels, including the High Level Committee on Infrastructure Financing, and is on the board of some of the largest companies.

POWER PUNCH
Not only is HDFC one of the leading housing financiers but HDFC Bank is the second largest private sector bank in the country. Parekh has also shot into limelight for his stand against corruption.

WHAT NEXT
Modi takes him very seriously and he may get a key role on economic policy in a Modi government.

BY THE WAY
A compulsive problem solver, his eyes light up the moment somebody presents to him his problem.

RANK 35: MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI, 32

dhoni

Captain, Indian cricket team

Rank (2013): 28

WHY
He added the Champions Trophy title to his burgeoning trophy cabinet, besides overtaking Sourav Ganguly as the most successful Indian Test captain.

POWER PUNCH
Off the field, his brand-value keeps breaking new grounds. On it, he remains the nerveless finisher ODI cricket has ever seen.

WHAT NEXT
Improving India’s Test record overseas.

BY THE WAY
A Man-U fan, he sneaked in and out of Old Trafford to watch a game during the 2011 England tour. Rooney, apparently, rued missing the chance to meet the Indian skipper.

RANK 36: LALU PRASAD, 66

lprasad

RJD president

(New on the list)

WHY
No leader has been able to hold his party even after conviction in a corruption case the way Lalu has.

POWER PUNCH
Less than 24 hours after 13 of his MLAs walked into the JD(U) camp, nine of them returned and Lalu paraded them before the Speaker.

WHAT NEXT
If he succeeds in keeping the BJP out of power and gets 15 seats, he can play a key role in the formation of the government at the Centre.

BY THE WAY
Became vegetarian after his first stint in jail.

RANK 37: RAMAN SINGH, 61

raman

Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh

Rank (2013): 59

WHY
Despite the setback caused by the Darbha attack and an eroding base among tribals, he managed to pull the BJP from the brink in the assembly polls and clinched his third consecutive victory.

POWER PUNCH
When Narendra Modi visited the state for election campaign, he ensured that the hardliner image of the Gujarat CM does not affect the moderate voters of his state.

WHAT NEXT
Of the 11 Lok Sabha seats in the state, BJP got 10 in the last two LS elections. A repeat this year will cement his grip on the state.

BY THE WAY
He is an Ayurveda doctor and would treat patients for free on Saturdays.

RANK 38: ANIL AMBANI, 54

anil

Chairman, Reliance ADA Group

Rank (2013): 29

WHY
His group is among India’s top three private sector business houses with assets in excess of Rs 180,000 crore, a net worth to the tune of Rs 89,000 crore, and with interests ranging from communications to financial services to power to infrastructure and entertainment.

POWER PUNCH
He hosted Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg at his home in Mumbai.

WHAT NEXT
One of the biggest challenges for his group is to reduce the debt of his telecom company and execute the 4,000 MW UMPP project at Sasan.

BY THE WAY
Has been a teetotaller, except for one swig of champagne at his wedding to Tina Ambani.

RANK 39: Nandan Nilekani, 58

nilekani

Chairman, UIDAI

Rank (2013): 37

WHY
Nilekani’s Aadhaar experiment has changed the way e-governance is perceived in India. For the UPA government, it may be a missed opportunity that Aadhaar as a means to cut graft has come a bit too late, but the strongest endorsement for his model has come from the RBI which has made Aadhaar issued to 56 crore Indians the basis of banking identity.

POWER PUNCH
Countries in Africa and some of our neighbours have begun to discover the virtues of Aadhaar. This could be India’s biggest identifiable software export abroad soon.

WHAT NEXT
With Nilekani all set to be fielded from Bangalore South, it will be interesting to see how this technocrat takes to politics.

BY THE WAY
“Boss” is his favourite word when he speaks.

RANK 40: MK STALIN, 61

stalin

Treasurer, DMK

Rank (2013): 40

WHY
He is the prince of a powerful regional party that has been a key factor in Delhi politics in the past couple of decades.

POWER PUNCH
With brother Alagiri suspended and on the verge of expulsion, Stalin has consolidated his strength against his immediate rival.

WHAT NEXT
Having spent a lifetime under the shadow  of his father, Stalin is itching to come out on his own. This year could be the beginning of that phase.

BY THE WAY
As a 14-year-old boy, Stalin had campaigned for his uncle, ‘Murasoli’ Maran.

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