The most powerful indians in 2009: 65-69

K.M. Chandrasekhar,N.R. Narayana,Baba Ramdev,Amitabh Bachchan & Harish Salve

Written by Express News Service | Published:March 9, 2009 2:53 pm

65. K.M. Chandrasekhar,61
Cabinet Secretary
Why
K.M. Chandrasekhar,a 1970-batch IAS officer,is the most powerful bureaucrat in India. He derives his power not just from the office he holds but also from the fact that he enjoys complete trust of the Prime Minister and all his senior Cabinet colleagues.
Power punch
Recently,he sent a circular to all the ministries and departments rebuking them for sending notes meant for the consideration of the Cabinet too close to the meeting. The circular has had the desired impact.
What next
Chandrasekhar’s term is set to end in the middle of June,unless he is given an extension. But before that,his most important job will be to oversee the smooth transition of the Central government after the general elections scheduled to be held in April-May.

66. N.R. Narayana Murthy,62
Chief Mentor,Infosys
Why
The co-founder of Infosys and its chief mentor is the face of India’s IT industry and is known for his acute focus on corporate governance. When Narayana Murthy speaks,even the government listens.
Power punch
In 2005,Murthy resigned from the post of chairman of the greenfield international airport project,taking offence to Deve Gowda’s allegation that Murthy didn’t spend adequate time on the project. Murthy replied to every point raised by Gowda on land acquisition by Infosys,leaving the ex-PM at a loss for words.
What next
Many companies will be looking up to him for advice to tide over the financial crisis. Having served as president of NASSCOM,Murthy understands business like few others in the country.

67. Baba Ramdev,44
Yoga Guru
Why
Lakhs of people take part in his yoga camps every year and those who cannot,watch him on Aastha channel—which claims a global viewership of 300 million. His asanas and trademark pranayam have become household routines and are said to have helped people recover from ailments.
Power punch
In January 2006,Brinda Karat accused Ramdev of using human and animal bones in medicines sold by his Divya Mandir Yoga Trust pharmacy. But later,a report by the Shriram Institute of Industrial Research in Delhi,which tested four samples,said they were purely herbal. Ramdev was cleared of the charges.
What next
The Swami plans to open a food park in Haridwar over the next six months. It will have the capacity to process 1,000 tonnes of foodgrains.

68. Amitabh Bachchan,66
Actor-Producer
Why
When almost all actors of his generation have retired,he continues to get the creamiest roles and the biggest banners. His fan following is legendary. It’s every director’s dream to work with Amitabh Bachchan. Currently his films are being showcased at the Salon Du Cinema in Paris.
Power punch
Last year,when he landed in hospital on his birthday,the entire country prayed for his well-being. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too wished him well.
What next
There’s Johnny Mastana,Aladdin,Teen Patti and Pa. Amitabh Bachchan’s production company AB Corp has a huge project on King Ashoka lined up. The buzz is that the Big B will return to the small screen as a game show anchor.

69. Harish Salve,58
Lawyer
Why
One of India’s most respected lawyers and Solicitor General of India for three years from 1999 to 2002,Salve has represented the high and mighty of Indian politics. He has represented Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati—both in their disproportionate assets case. Salve also assists the court as amicus curiae on environment matters every Friday.
Power punch
When the Delhi government wanted trees in Siri Fort sports complex to make way for two stadiums for the 2010 Commonwealth Games,Salve forcefully argued against the proposal. As a result,Charles Correa was appointed to take a look at the proposal.
What next
Salve will lead in several key legal battles as he is an expert in almost all branches of law—criminal,civil,constitutional,commercial even taxation.

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