Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not make the shortlist of eight finalists selected by TIME for its annual ‘Person of the Year’ title but has won the publication’s readers’ poll online.
He secured more than 16% of the almost five million votes cast and was on Monday named winner of this year’s readers’ poll.
TIME editors have not picked him among the eight finalists for the 2014 Person of the Year title. The winner will be announced on Wednesday.
TIME said “a strong showing of readers from India” helped drive Modi’s first-place finish. “More people from the country voted than from any other country, with the exception of the United States,” it said.
Protesters in Ferguson, demonstrating against a grand jury’s decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August, ranked second in the readers’ online poll with 9% of the total votes.
The eight ‘editor’s pick’ finalists, announced by TIME editor Nancy Gibbs, include founder and CEO of the Alibaba Group Jack Ma, Apple CEO Tim Cook, pop star Taylor Swift, Ferguson protestors, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ebola caregivers, National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell and President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Masoud Barzani.
Readers from more than 225 countries participated in the online poll with US votes leading the tally at 37%, followed by India at 17% and Russia at 12%. Hong Kong protest leader Joshua Wong, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai and doctors and nurses treating Ebola rounded out the top five.
The title, that has been awarded by the magazine annually since 1927, goes to the person who “most influenced the news” during the year “for better or worse”.
Modi was among the 50 contenders which included global leaders, business chiefs and pop icons.
In a separate “Face-off” poll, Modi was pitted against Indonesia’s new president Joko Widodo and maintained a significant lead. He garnered 69% votes as against Widodo’s 31%.