The most powerful Indians in 2013: No. 21-30

Indian Express: The most powerful Indians in 2013

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: April 23, 2013 7:25:26 pm

Indian Express: The most powerful Indians in 2013

21

A K Antony, 72

Minister of Defence

Rank ’12: 9

Why

Though his ministry saw a series of controversies,including an Army chief taking on the government,Antony managed to emerge more or less unscathed. Also,he is Sonia Gandhi’s last port of call for advice. His position as No. 2 in the Cabinet was cemented after the exit of Pranab Mukherjee.

Power Punch

After trying to play down corruption charges in the chopper deal for a year,he ordered a CBI inquiry. He even surprised colleagues in the Cabinet

by announcing that his ministry was cancelling the contract.

What Next

With the Lok Sabha elections looming large,Antony will need to see that no new scandals emerge from the Defence Ministry that can embarrass the government.

By The Way

He does not entertain any visitor after 9 pm.

22

Mayawati, 57

Chief of Bahujan Samaj Party

Rank ‘12: 35

Why

As she commands the fourth largest chunk of MPs in the Lok Sabha,her support is key to the UPA’s survival. She demonstrated it when she got her flock to vote in support of FDI in retail in the Rajya Sabha even though her party had opposed the move in the Lok Sabha.

Power Punch

She exploited the UPA’s dependence on her to get the Bill on SC/ST quota in promotion in government jobs through the Rajya Sabha.

What Next

Getting the Bill on SC/ST quota passed in the Lok Sabha. In the general elections,she would try to regain her clout in Uttar Pradesh so that she can influence the choice of the next prime minister.

By The Way

She likes sprouts for breakfast.

23

Azim Premji, 67

Chairman,Wipro Ltd

Rank ’12: 22

WHY

He is the first Indian business tycoon to publicly favour taxing the super rich more. Wipro has consistently strengthened its outsourcing business. He has been very vocal on governance issues.

POWER PUNCH

He pledged to donate $2 billion for boosting school education in India. With Bill Gates and Ratan Tata,he hosted some of India’s wealthiest people for philanthropy in Bangalore last June.

WHAT NEXT

He plans to increase his company’s footprint in cloud computing,analytics and tablet computer applications.

BY THE WAY

He exhorted Bangaloreans for a citizens’ movement against tonnes of garbage rotting on the streets.

24

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, 53

Chief Minister,Madhya Pradesh

Rank ‘12: 68

Why

Shivraj Singh Chouhan is among the most well-entrenched CMs. When most CMs tend to showcase their industry-friendly policies,he has recorded the highest growth in agriculture.

Power Punch

He thwarted all attempts of his rival Uma Bharti to return to MP and got Prabhat Jha removed as the state party president.

What Next

The Assembly elections due this year should be easy game for him.

Oops moment

He advised the country’s youth to stay away from Internet and join akharas to keep their bodies fit.

By The Way

He fasts on all nine days of Navratri.

25

Mamata Banerjee, 53

Chief Minister,West Bengal

Rank ’12: 7

Why

By criticising FDI in retail,reduction of subsidy on domestic LPG cylinders,increase in diesel prices and inflation,she has positioned herself as a claimant of the anti-reform plank,which could be a deciding factor in the 2014 elections.

Power Punch

Even out of the UPA,she continues to impact the Centre’s moves like on the Teesta water-sharing pact and the exchange of border enclaves with Bangladesh.

What next

In the next general elections,if her tally improves beyond 20 in the Lok Sabha,she will once again be in high demand.

Oops moment

“It is a small and petty matter. It was an accident,” she said days after student leader Sudipto Ghosh died after a clash with the police.

BY THE WAY

She does not accept gifts,not even from party workers.

26

Sushil Kumar Shinde,71

Minister of Home Affairs

New on the list

Why

Shinde was promoted to the Home Ministry a few days after the northern grid collapsed under his watch as Power Minister. Shinde knows well that power stems from loyalty to the first family,and he has been loyal.

Power Punch

He got Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru executed before anyone could come to know of these crucial decisions.

What Next

He can put the government in a spot,like when he gave a specific time-frame for a decision on Telangana. He will have to fix his bumbling Home Minister image and exercise more restraint.

Oops moment

“BJP and RSS conduct terror training camps to spread terrorism,” he said before eating his words to buy peace with the opposition BJP on the eve of the Budget session.

By The Way

He loves foreign jaunts and wanted to become the external affairs minister.

27

Ganapathy, 60

General secretary,CPI (Maoist)

Rank ’12: 48

WHY

He heads the most organised and widespread insurgency since Independence. Despite enhanced operations by security forces in the last one year,Maoists have managed to keep their top cadres and territory intact. Relative decline in violence recently is seen as just a phase to regroup and strategise.

POWER PUNCH

The Sukma collector’s abduction shook the nation and confirmed the Maoists’ capacity to strike at will.

What NEXT

How Bastar votes during this year’s Chhattisgarh Assembly elections will have a bearing on the Maoist strategy. A tough task ahead is to handle splinter groups in Jharkhand,the state that has replaced Chhattisgarh in the number of violent incidents.

BY THE WAY

His comrades call him GP.

28

M S Dhoni, 31

Captain,Indian Cricket Team

Rank ’12: 61

WHY

In 2012,India lost five of the nine Tests under him but with the series win against Australia,he has bounced back. The average of 40 plus in Tests and 50 plus in the shorter version ensured that Brand Dhoni didn’t take a big dent.

POWER PUNCH

Seniors’ retirement has coincided with the rise of Team Mahi. He has his own team in the World Superbike Championship and plans to open 200 gymnasiums.

WHAT NEXT

With India taking on South Africa in an away series,he will again be under scrutiny.

Oops moment

Last year,he demanded a turning track for the Mumbai Test against England. He got the wicket,but lost the match.

BY THE WAY

He wants to serve full-time in the armed forces after he retires.

29

Anil Ambani, 53

Chairman,Reliance ADA Group

Rank ’12: 54

WHY

He signed a deal with China’s Dalian Wanda Group to develop real estate and cinemas,starting with township projects on 20 million square feet in India. Reliance Communications signed deals with Ericsson and Alcatel Lucent,each worth $1 billion.

POWER PUNCH

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

WHAT NEXT

His biggest challenges are reducing the debt of his telecom company and executing the 4,000 MW UMPP project at Sasan,where Reliance Power has sought a tariff revision. He expects to make it big in the entertainment business.

BY THE WAY

He started 2013 by seeking divine help with a dip at the Mahakumbh.

30

Sukhbir Singh Badal, 50

Deputy Chief Minister,Punjab

NEW ON THE LIST

Why

He has established himself as the perfect heir to his father,Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Along with being the Deputy CM,he is also president of the Shiromani Akali Dal. An astute politician,he has neither remained in the shadow of his father,nor tried to undermine his authority.

Power Punch

He ousted the Sarna brothers,patronised by the Congress,from the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee—a remarkable

feat ahead of the coming Assembly elections in Delhi.

What Next

For long a deputy to his Chief Minister father,he is expected by everyone to succeed him.

BY THE WAY

He is an accomplished sculptor.

For all the latest News Archive News, download Indian Express App

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement