Indian Express Power List 2016: 51-100https://indianexpress.com/photos/picture-gallery-others/indian-express-power-list-2016-51-100-salman-khan-shah-rukh-khan-deepika-padukone/

Indian Express Power List 2016: 51-100

The Indian Express power list for 2016.

Rank 51: Priyanka Vadra, 44 Congress member

Why: She is a great influence on Rahul Gandhi and the emotional anchor of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Power Punch: She has refused the let the allegations against husband Robert Vadra pull her down.

What Next: Priyanka is expected to play a greater role in the party’s pre-poll strategy for UP.

By the way: Long ago, for about a year, she taught at a Montessori school in Delhi.



See Indian Express Power List 2016: Top 50

Read 2016 list of the most powerful Indians

Rank 52: Sharad Pawar, 75 NCP Chief

Why: With his senior partymen facing corruption charges, the NCP chief has to shoulder the burden of rebuilding the party.

Power Punch:The who’s who of Indian politics was at the launch of his autobiography in Delhi in December.

What next:A shot at the highest office when Pranab Mukherjee retires.

By the Way:Pawar has served as the head of various sports organisations in Maharashtra.

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Rank 53: Naveen Patnaik, 69 Odisha Chief Minister

Why: Despite rising popular disenchantment, Patnaik still stands heads and shoulders above any other politician in Odisha. His seven BJD MPs in the Rajya Sabha ensure Modi can’t ignore him.

Power Punch: Last month, the Centre granted Odisha drought assistance of Rs 815 crore even before the state had got its crop-cutting report — the only scientific evidence substantiating a drought — ready. This was the biggest drought assistance Odisha had got in 10 years.

What Next: Rising infighting in the BJD is keeping Patnaik on the edge, and he is reported to be taking extra care to ensure he is not attacked by disgruntled partymen. The exit of POSCO steel remains a blot, and he has to renew faith in the state’s attraction as an investment destination.

By the Way: He is very close to sister Gita Mehta, an author, who visits him regularly at their Bhubaneswar home.

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Rank 54: Siddaramaiah, 67 Karnataka Chief Minister

Why: In his third year in power, the CM has maintained a clean image, despite allegations of corruption in land deals. He has also managed to quell dissidence within the Congress, which many had thought could lead to his fall.

Power Punch: Siddaramaiah used his old connections with the opposition Janata Dal (Secular) to wrest control of Bangalore City Corporation from under the BJP’s nose, despite the latter winning a majority of the seats. When he perceived a threat to his chair from Dalit leaders in the Karnataka Congress, Siddaramaiah declared himself a Dalit to tilt the balance in his favour.

What Next: Elections to local bodies like zila panchayats and taluk panchayats will test the popularity of the Siddaramaiah government. He has indicated that he will not fight the next polls and could well introduce his son in politics.

By the Way: Siddaramaiah was once a criminal lawyer based in Mysore.

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Rank 55: J P Nadda, 55 Health and Family Welfare Minister

Why: When he first took over as minister after the sudden removal of Dr Harshvardhan, there were misgivings and rumours about the hand of the tobacco lobby in the reshuffle. Larger pictorial warnings on tobacco packs are still pending but Nadda has done a commendable balancing act given the financial constraints and the limited say the Centre has in implementation of health programmes.

Power Punch: Nadda remains very important in the BJP’s organisational structure and was one of Amit Shah’s key lieutenants in the Bihar campaign. He also keeps a low profile, a much-valued quality in the current dispensation.

What Next: Nadda will have to start moving on the health assurance promise of the NDA. The tobacco pictorial warnings are scheduled to be implemented from April this year, and whether that happens or not will affect Nadda’s standing globally.

By The Way: He can recite some of the best speeches of Abraham Lincoln and J F Kennedy from memory.

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Rank 56: Rajat Sharma, 59 Editor-in-chief and chairman, India TV

Why: Considered more influential than most ministers, Rajat Sharma can count many people in his list of powerful friends, from politicians to Bollywood stars. Many of his friends in the BJP date back to his days as a student leader in Delhi.

Power Punch: He was re-elected president of the influential News Broadcasters’ Association. With many friends in the present government, his clout has only grown. His show Aap Ki Adalat, now in its 22nd year, continues to draw the who’s who of Indian politics and entertainment.

What Next: With competition getting fiercer in the news space, India TV will have to be inventive to stay ahead.

By the Way: Panditji, as he is called by everyone, loves Hindi film songs and has a huge collection of suits that he likes to boast about.

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Rank 57: Arnab Goswami, 42 Editor-in-chief, Times Now

Why: Because the noise on his prime-time Newshour is now the template for television news across most channels even as many of them now take the journalistic high ground. He rails against the establishment one day, and the next day calls JNU students “anti-nationals” with equal passion.

Power Punch: When Union HRD minister Smriti Irani calls during his show to lend a shoulder to a weeping talking head. Times Now recently completed 10 years, and has consistently been the most watched news channel in English.

What Next: The Congress is now staying away from his show just as the BJP did during the IPL row. For how long will the Congress boycott last? Stay tuned in.

By the Way: Minutes before The Newshour, he sprints from the make-up room to the studio, some say to get charged for the explosive debate.

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Rank 58: Gen. Dalbir Singh, 61Army Chief

Why: The sheer size of the force he commands makes him one of the most powerful men in the country. Besides, by virtue of being the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Singh influences the strong ex-servicemen community in the country, and was a crucial mediator between the government and veterans during the One Rank One Pension (OROP) agitation. He has a high level of access to the PMO given the border issues with Pakistan and China. Singh has been an integral part of many successful operations. Among the most famous is Operation Pawan by the Indian Peace Keeping Force against Sri Lanka in 1987, where he was appointed as the Company commander.

Power Punch: Recently, after the Pathankot attack last month, he said that Pakistan Army has always derailed dialogue between the two countries.

What Next: Into the second period of his term, he will be judged by deliverables such as morale of his troops, state of readiness of the Army, modernisation etc.

By the Way: Singh is known as a sportsperson and fitness enthusiast: he takes a special interest in horse riding and swimming. Every day, he runs 10 km on the treadmill.

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Rank 59: Asaduddin Owaisi, 46 AIMIM president

Why: Under his leadership, the AIMIM has transformed into a national party. Owaisi has already made inroads into Maharashtra— MIM won two seats, including Byculla, in Mumbai in 2014, and 44 seats in the recent municipal elections in Hyderabad.

Power Punch: He has emerged as a leader of a Muslim party able to take on Hindu right-wing organisations. Owaisi is also looking to unify Muslims, Dalits and OBCs under the MIM umbrella.

What Next : Owaisi and MIM will take part in elections in West Bengal.

By the Way: He likes to ride his motorcycle in Hyderabad.

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Rank 60: Kumar Mangalam Birla, 48 Aditya Birla Group Chairman

Why: Aditya Birla Group companies cut across sectors such as chemicals, mining, retail, telecom, with Idea Cellular being the third largest telecom company in India.

Power Punch: He purchased Jatia House in Malabar Hill in September 2015 for Rs 425 crore.

What Next: Birla Estates was carved out by Century Textiles board in February 2016 and will redevelop its properties in and around Mumbai under a new CEO.

By the Way: The industrialist enjoys shooting and considers himself a reasonably good marksman.

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Rank 61: Uday Shankar, 53 CEO, Star

Why: He is the CEO of a network with 40-plus channels watched by 650 million viewers a month.

Power Punch: As promoters of the pro-badminton league, Star Sports convinced organisers to make the game snappier by reverting to the 15-point format. The hockey league decided to award two points for field goals. The world governing bodies of both sports might implement these changes internationally.

What Next: The IPL is looking for a broadcaster. You can bet Star will be in the chase.

By the Way: Once a JNU jholawala, he works at a standing desk in a 37th-floor Lower Parel office.

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Rank 62: Samir Jain, 60 Vineet Jain, 48 Vice-Chairman and MD of BCCL Group

Why: With its large print and digital footprint, BCCL is India’s largest media conglomerate.

Power Punch: BCCL announced the setting up of its university on land allotted by the UP government in Noida.

What Next: They aim to explore more regional markets and produce more films.

By the Way: Given a choice, Samir would spend a few months in a year in California’s bay area.

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Rank 63: Rahul Bhatia, 56 Whole-Time Director, InterGlobe Enterprises

Why: Last October, IndiGo’s parent company, InterGlobe Aviation, raised Rs 3,008 crore through a successful initial public offer.

Power Punch: The public offer was the biggest IPO in nearly three years.

What Next: With delay expected in the delivery of planes, IndiGo’s plans could face turbulence.

By the Way: Bhatia owns restaurants Nooba, China Club and L’Angoor in Gurgaon and Delhi.

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Rank 64: Prashant Bhushan, 59 Lawyer, activist, politician

Why: He has come into prominence for using legal means to expose corruption and scams. He has also extensively used public interest litigations (PILs) to support a number of causes related to environmental protection, human rights, and most importantly, corruption.

Power Punch: From 2G to coal block allocation scam, Bhushan has been involved in legal battles. He also stood up to oppose the NJAC, which was seen as a bid to take away the autonomy of the judiciary to appoint judges.

What Next: The Supreme Court has recently questioned the credentials and authenticity of PILs Bhushan has been filing at regular intervals, and he has filed a detailed reply, attesting to his credibility and genuineness.

By the Way: Whenever he finds time, Bhushan travels to Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, where he owns a small farm.

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Rank 65: M Lakshmana Rao aka Ganapathy, 66 CPI (Maoist) general secretary

Why: Although on the backfoot for several months, the banned CPI (Maoist) party, led by Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy, still controls vast areas in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar. Under his leadership, the Maoists have thwarted several attempts by security forces to wrest back Maoist-controlled areas in Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.

Power Punch: His call for Bolshevising the party has invigorated the cadre. In spite of so many operations against the Maoists, they are still acknowledged by the NDA government as the biggest internal threat to the country.

What Next: After a few setbacks, his call for “Jal, jungle, zameen, izzat and adhikar” has given a new momentum to the movement.

By the Way: He is a science graduate and also holds a B.Ed degree. He worked as teacher in Karimnagar district, Telangana. The bounty on his head is now Rs 2.52 crore.

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Rank 66: Amarinder Singh, 73 Punjab Congress chief

Why: A scion of the royal family of Patiala, a former captain in the Indian Army, and a former chief minister of Punjab (2002-2007), Singh remains a popular state leader. He is the sitting president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC). The resounding defeat he dealt to senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley in Amritsar in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was one of the worst losses suffered by the BJP in the polls, and continues to hurt the party.

Power Punch: After an open rebellion against Partap Singh Bajwa, Singh literally forced the party to nominate him as the Punjab Congress chief in his place.

What Next: Singh is now concentrating on steering the Congress to victory in the 2017 Assembly elections.

By the Way: Singh has written six books, including his memoir. He loves fast food and especially his McDonald’s meal — French fries, and burger with double cheese, but without mayonnaise.

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Rank 67: Ahmed Patel, 66 Congress leader

Why: Despite Rahul Gandhi virtually running the show in the Congress, 10 Janpath is still the last word. Patel, in his capacity as Sonia’s political secretary and her trusted lieutenant, is a key influence on her. He plays a big role in decision-making within the party and in drawing up its policies and positions.

Power Punch: When the Delhi High Court dismissed Sonia and Rahul’s plea against a summons issued by a trial court in the National Herald case, the party's initial decision was to approach the Supreme Court to seek an exemption. But Patel convinced the leadership that it made better political sense for Sonia and Rahul to appear in court — and they did.

What Next: With Rahul expected to take over as Congress president, there is uncertainty over the role the old guard, of which Patel is a part, would play.

By the Way: He earned his first real money by selling vegetables, which he carried from his village to the market in Ankleshwar.

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Rank 68: Badruddin Ajmal, 66 AIUDF leader

Why: His party is the largest opposition party in Assam, holding 18 seats in the 126-member House. His 10-year-old party has risen rapidly, winning three seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha, the same number as the Congress. Ajmal has claimed his party will win 30-35 seats.

Power Punch: His party has considerable hold in at least 34 seats, most of them in western and south Assam. In an interview to The Indian Express, BJP’s Himanta Biswa Sarna had conceded Ajmal’s hold on these seats, “where Bangladeshi immigrants are in a majority”, and said the BJP will have to work hard in the remaining 92 seats “to save our identity”.

What Next: Ajmal is putting up candidates in over 100 Assembly constituencies. He is expected to either forge an alliance with the Congress or arrive at a post-poll understanding in case of a hung Assembly.

By the Way: People carry water to Ajmal, who is considered a healer, hoping his touch will cure them of their ailments.

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Rank 69: Krishna Gopal, 61 RSS joint general secretary

Why: As the RSS’s representative in the BJP, he is an official channel of communication between the two organisations. He conveys the Sangh’s perspective to the government and is privy to crucial decisions of the Cabinet.

Power Punch: The removal and selection of several vice-chancellors and heads of academic institutions and universities — traditionally a major concern of the RSS — in this government are believed to have been done through his blessings.

What Next: A tough challenge before Gopal is to equal the clout of earlier Sangh ambassadors, including in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, particularly in the powerful ministries such as home, defence, finance and foreign affairs.

By the way: His personal assistant, Digvijay Tyagi, was earlier with Amit Shah. As a doctoral student at Agra University in the ’70s, his thesis was on “Impact of climate change on mustard flowers”.

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Rank 70: Ram Madhav,51 BJP general secretary

Why: He is among the few in the party with direct access to both the PM and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. He has played a crucial role in mobilising support for the PM’s grand public meetings abroad. He overturned a shibboleth of Indian politics — the BJP and the PDP are ideologically opposed and never the twain can meet. The alliance between the BJP and PDP in Jammu and Kashmir went on to form the government. As a key interlocutor for the fragile alliance, he is crucial for the party.

Power Punch: Modi supporters feel he showed gumption in appearing on Al Jazeera’s Head to Head show, and that he held his own against Mehdi Hasan, contrary to all the flak he drew.

What Next: Forming a government in J&K was one of the biggest achievements of the Modi-led BJP. It is up to Madhav now to ensure it stays that way.

BY THE WAY: Madhav has more followers on Twitter than his parent organisation, the RSS.

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Rank 71: Sunil Mittal, 58 Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises

Why: Bharti Enterprises’s flagship company, Bharti Airtel — India’s biggest wireless carrier — is investing $3.5 billion in the current fiscal, an incremental $750 million, to spur the company’s fourth generation wireless services. In November, Mittal said that he will take a voluntary cut of Rs 5 crore from his annual salary to help fund a new initiative aimed at providing legal and financial assistance to underprivileged undertrials. He drew a salary of Rs 27.17 crore in 2014-15.

Power Punch: Mittal has set the ball rolling on a major restructuring of Bharti’s bleeding telecom business in Africa by grouping operations in 15 countries under eight clusters, alongside changes in management structure.

What Next: Airtel is bracing for the impending rollout of Reliance Jio Infocomm’s $15 billion 4G service, which could result in a shake-up of the telecommunication industry.

BY THE WAY: He started out by making cycle parts for Hero and Avon.

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Rank 72: Aamir Khan, 50 Actor

Why: Despite not making any big-screen appearance in 2015, there was no denying Khan’s influence. If an e-commerce firm signed him up for Rs 30 crore, he lent the strongest voice to the intolerance debate in the country. By the end of the year, his contract with both Snapdeal and the government’s Incredible India campaign was allowed to lapse — a fact that didn’t go unnoticed.

Power Punch: In the midst of concerns over intolerance, Aamir, speaking at an Indian Express event, said, “For the first time, (wife Kiran) said, should we move out of India... That does indicate a sense of growing disquiet.” The Modi government appears to have put his remarks behind it — recently, Khan was invited to a private dinner hosted by the PM in Mumbai.

What Next: The December release of Dangal, produced by Aamir Khan Productions and Disney Productions.

By the way: He was once part of a theatre group with director Ashutosh Gowarikar and actor Raj Zutshi.

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Rank 73: K V Kamath, 68 President, New Development Bank

Why: Kamath, the force behind the success of ICICI Bank, is the first president of New Development Bank BRICS, formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank. NDB BRICS is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — as an alternative to the existing US-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Power Punch: NDB’s opening ceremony was held in July last year in Shanghai, where the bank’s headquarters is located. The NDB will have an initial authorised capital of $100 billion and initial subscribed capital of $50 billion, equally distributed among founding members.

What Next: NDB is likely to monetise road projects in the country in addition to providing funding for fresh projects. NDB’s funding plan is likely to be unveiled in April 2016.

By The Way: At REC Surathkal, Karnataka, he was president of the college union in the final year.

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Rank 74: N R Narayana Murthy, 69 Infosys co-founder

Why: The founder of Infosys, one of the biggest employers of the Indian IT industry, Murthy is now the chairman emeritus of the company he helped shape. But sought after for his advice by the government and the private sector, the entrepreneur remains the conscience-keeper of corporate India.

Power Punch: In July 2015, he pointed out that India’s scientific establishment had failed to do “impactful research”. Had India produced a single invention in the past 60-odd years that could be said to be indispensable, he asked, setting off a debate. He was also among the first business leaders to speak out during the intolerance debate. “The reality today is that there is considerable fear in the minds of minorities in India...,” he said in an interview to NDTV.

What Next: He is keen to see India’s start-up ecosystem gear up to produce companies for the future.

By The Way: Fond of travelling, Murthy likes to listen to The Beatles.

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Rank 75: Deepak Parekh, 71 HDFC chairman

Why: One of the most accomplished Indian career bankers, Deepak Parekh is a source of guidance for top corporates, bankers, regulators as well as the government.

Power Punch: Parekh was at the forefront of a signature campaign, launched on December 19, 2015, by the industry body CII, which urged MPs to allow the passage of the contentious GST bill — as the Opposition and the government remained at loggerheads. He also mildly criticised the RBI’s prescription on tackling bad loans, warning that “too much of anaesthesia could result in a patient becoming comatose”.

What Next: His name is doing the rounds for the panel of experts on the proposed Bank Board Bureau, which will replace the appointment boards for naming whole-time directors and non-executive chairmen of public sector banks.

BY THE WAY: As a trustee of the Bombay Scottish School, Parekh is much sought after in Mumbai. His disappointment at the declining standards of the school he went to — St Xaviers — prompted him to recently launch the HDFC range of schools.

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Rank 76: Karan Johar, 43 Filmmaker

Why: 2015 saw Hindi cinema’s most famous producer-director play the role of a media baron in Bombay Velvet. He also “presented” the S S Rajamouli-directed Bahubali, whose world-wide earnings were pegged at over Rs 600 crore.

Power Punch: Johar, along with Aamir Khan, Ronnie Screwvala, distributor Anil Thadani and Siddharth Roy Kapur of UTV-Disney Films, is said to be planning a venture to promote smaller multiplex chains.

What Next: He is shooting his next film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

By the way: His acting debut was in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.

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Rank 77: Azim Premji, 70 Wipro founder-chairman

Why: Along with HCL co-founder Shiv Nadar, Azim Premji figured in Forbes's first-ever list of 100 richest people in technology, dominated by Americans, with Microsoft founder Bill Gates at the top.

Power Punch: After committing 21 per cent of his stake in the company for charity, the Wipro founder earmarked 18 per cent more of it in 2015, making him the leading philanthropist in India by far.

What Next: Premji announced that Wipro would add 25,000 tech jobs in Karnataka.

By the way: He prefers staying in company guesthouses to hotels while travelling.

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Rank 78: Parkash S Badal, 88 Punjab Chief Minister

Why: The oldest chief minister in the country, he continues to be the tallest Akali Dal leader, commanding the respect not only of his own party leaders but also of the top BJP leadership, including PM Narendra Modi. Last year, Modi called him India's Nelson Mandela.

Power Punch: He hit the road to cool tempers following the Guru Granth Sahib “desecration” row.

What Next: The biggest challenge is to win back the support of the Sikh community and peasantry, disillusioned over the pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda chief.

By the way: An exercise enthusiast, he sticks to a healthy diet.

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Rank 79: Jyotiraditya Scindia, 45 Congress MP

Why: He is one of Congress’s best speakers in the Lok Sabha. The last few Parliament sessions have seen him rally the party’s 45 MPs in the House.

Power Punch: When he called the Emergency a “mistake”, his views were heard seriously by the party.

What Next: Is likely to play a bigger role in Parliament.

By the way: He once worked as an investment banker.

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Rank 80: Arundhati Bhattacharya, 59 SBI chairperson

Why: As head of the largest Indian bank, Bhattacharya has great influence in deciding the movement of interest rates and extending support to industry and the common man.

Power Punch: Other PSU banks made huge losses, but SBI made a decent profit in the third quarter.

What Next: SBI too is engaged in a clean-up of its bad debt books.

By The Way: She reads two-three books at a time.

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Rank 81: K Chandrashekar Rao, 62 Telangana CM

Why: Since becoming the first CM of the newly-formed state of Telangana, KCR, as he is fondly known, has become more powerful, with successive poll wins and government schemes that are being applauded, including the new industrial policy and plans for the poor.

Power Punch: Recently, his party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, broke records in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation by winning 99 seats out of 150. He also dealt a severe blow to the TDP, with seven of its 15 MLAs crossing over to the TRS.

What Next: All eyes will be on how he handles the expected water crisis in the state this summer.

BY THE WAY: Whenever he has some free time, KCR heads to his farmhouse and just walks through the fields.

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Rank 82: Akhilesh Yadav, 42 Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister

Why: Despite father Mulayam Singh Yadav’s presence as a super-commander, the CM with age on his side has made some impact with his development works, including the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, 108 ambulance scheme etc. While UP’s dismal law and order is a matter of worry, aggressive branding has ensured the state is the second most visited by domestic tourists.

Power Punch: The SP won more than half of the seats in the three-tier panchayat polls.

What Next: The 2017 polls will be Akhilesh’s first elections as CM, and he must ensure he has a say in ticket distribution.

BY THE WAY: He is a devoted family man, and shares photographs of his vacations with wife and children on social media.

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Rank 83: Salman Khan, 50 Actor

Why: 2015 was undoubtedly Salman Khan’s year. Both his releases — Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo — were the biggest hits of the year. His Eid releases continue to be much awaited.

Power Punch: His acquittal in the 13-year-old hit-and-run case. Observing that “strong suspicion of guilt cannot be used to hold a person guilty”, the Bombay High Court acquitted Khan in December 2015.

What Next: While Khan remains busy with his projects as actor and producer, the hit-and-run case may come back to haunt him as the Maharashtra government has appealed against his acquittal in the Supreme Court.

By the way: Salman Khan was a champion swimmer in school.

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Rank 84: Saina Nehwal, 25 Badminton player

Why: Nehwal is the first Indian to make it to the top in women’s singles badminton. In August last year, the 25-year-old broke the jinx of five World Championship quarterfinal losses to finally pick up a silver. She also won the Indian Super Series last year, another tournament on the circuit she hadn’t cracked before.

Power Punch: With 10 endorsements in her kitty, she can be compared to mid-level cricketers. She questioned it openly when she wasn’t given a Padma Bhushan in 2015, and this year was named for the award.

What Next: She will aim for a gold at the Olympics this year. She’s still to win the All England.

By the Way: She mimics Akshay Kumar-Paresh Rawal comedies and posts Dubsmashes on Twitter.

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Rank 85: Sania Mirza, 29 Tennis player

Why: Starting 2015 at No. 6, Sania Mirza went on to become World No. 1 in doubles, with Martina Hingis. The pair, who are known as Santina, started their dream run at Wimbledon and have won the US Open and this year’s Australian Open titles.

Power Punch: Her Adidas deal is on a par with Virat Kohli’s and her tournament earnings are comparable to a top-notch cricketer’s, which is not a mean feat. Infostrada, the globally-reputed Olympics medal-predicting website, has put two medals against her name, in the mixed and women’s double categories.

What Next: The Rio Olympics.

By the Way: She loves the American medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy.

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Rank 86: Kiran, and Shiv Nadar, 61 & 70 Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation; Chairperson, Shiv Nadar Foundation

Why: The Nadars have set aside $1 billion for the philanthropic Shiv Nadar Foundation.

Power Punch : Kiran Nadar campaigned for duty waiver for importing artworks for public display, and won. Shiv Nadar’s biography was shelved before publication by Penguin on his instructions.

What Next: HCL will invest $1 billion in Tamil Nadu over 5 years.

By the way: Kiran Nadar has represented India in the card game bridge in several world championships.

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Rank 87: U K Sinha, 63 SEBI Chairman

Why: After considering many titans from the financial sector to lead the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the government decided to retain U K Sinha for another year.

Power Punch: The regulator announced new norms for listing of stock exchanges.

What Next: With the merger of the Forward Markets Commission with SEBI last September, Sinha will be watched for how he accomplishes the task of integrating regulations of commodity derivatives market and stock market.

By The Way: He loves poetry and music.

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Rank 88: Manish Sisodia, 44 Delhi Deputy Chief Minister

Why: As Arvind Kejriwal’s No.2, he must keep the Delhi government running while the CM devotes his time to poll prospects and fighting various battles with the Centre.

Power Punch: He handled the MCD crisis while Kejriwal was away in Bengaluru.

What Next: In the next budget, Sisodia must balance subsidies, social sector spending.

By The Way: He would rather be called education minister than deputy CM.

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Rank 89: M S Dhoni, 34 Cricketer

Why: He may have retired from Test cricket in 2014, but he continues to be a powerful influence on Indian cricket in the shorter version of the game.

Power Punch: A film on Dhoni will hit the screens in September this year.

What Next: India will be hosting the World T20 this year. Could it be his swangsong?

By the Way: Since his daughter Ziva was born, Dhoni has started carrying a mobile phone.

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Rank 90: Subramanian Swamy, 76 BJP National Executive member

Why: He continues to pick up the cases and target the people that others would not. He also enjoys the backing of the RSS.

Power Punch: His petition against Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa landed her in jail, though briefly, while Rahul and Sonia Gandhi find themselves in court owing to the National Herald case.

What Next: A loose cannon, there is no telling the feet Swamy will tread on. His hardline stand on Ram Mandir and Pakistan talks could prove discomfiting for the BJP.

By the way: His wife Roxna Swamy is his legal backbone, and taught him law.

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Rank 91: MK Stalin, 62 DMK Treasurer

Why: He is the apparent heir to his father M Karunanidhi, as the political career of his siblings Kanimozhi and M K Azhagiri remains uncertain. Should the DMK win in the coming polls, Stalin would be a power centre.

Power Punch: He launched a pre-poll state-wide campaign from southern Tamil Nadu, going in for a professional image makeover.

What Next: The coming elections will show whether he has evolved as a leader.

By The Way: He has been in politics since his teens except for a brief period in the ’80s when he acted in TV serials.

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Rank 92: Subhash Chandra, 65 Essel Group and ZEE Chairman

Why: He is the head of the over $2.7 billion Essel Group, whose array of businesses includes media, theme parks, packaging, mining and infrastructure.

Power Punch: Chandra ranks No. 18 among India’s richest and No. 393 among world’s billionaires. He is the key sponsor of India’s biggest lit fest and is close to the ruling party.

What Next: He is working to expand the broadcasting arm of his company through a number of new channels across lifestyle and news. There are also plans to have a digital media news site.

By the way: He started out with only Rs 17 in his pocket.

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Rank 93: Deepika Padukone, 30 Actor

Why: For an actor in the prime of her career, Piku was a far from obvious choice, given its non-romantic, slice-of-life subject matter. Padukone went on to hold her own against Irrfan Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, two actors who dominate any scene they are in. Her performance was key to the film’s success.

Power Punch: She broke a taboo by openly talking about her battle with depression, and founded the not-for-profit organisation Live Love Laugh Foundation to raise awareness about mental health.

What Next: 2016 will see Padukone make her Hollywood debut opposite Vin Diesel in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

By the way: She turned down Fast and Furious 7 due to her prior commitment to Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Leela.

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Rank 94: Vishal Sikka, 48 Infosys CEO & MD

Why: Twenty months after Sikka took over Infosys, the company posted a profit of Rs 3,465 crore in October-December 2015-16, up from Rs 2,886 crore in April-June 2014-15.

Power Punch: The attrition rate in Infosys has fallen from over 20 per cent at the time he took over to 13.4 per cent.

What Next: Sikka aims to take the software firm to revenues of $20 billion by 2020. India’s second largest software exporter is also betting big on virtual reality. It recently announced cash awards for 20 entrepreneurs every year so as “to encourage ideas that solve real life problems”.

By the way: Sikka runs a blog called ‘Timelessness — Musings on Constants and other Invariants’.

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Rank 95: Anandiben Patel, 74 Gujarat Chief Minister

Why: With Gujarat going to polls next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has built his image alongside that of the state, will be watching Patel’s performance here. She has survived despite the rising factionalism in the state BJP, the Patidar stir and the allegations of out-of-turn land allotments.

Power Punch: Under her, the BJP won all the six municipal corporations and around 40 of the 56 municipalities in semi-urban towns in recent elections.

What Next: With the Amit Shah camp asserting itself, she must find a way to consolidate her position.

BY THE WAY: She is fond of cooking and is known to be an expert in rolling out bhakris.

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Rank 96: Prashant Kishor, 39 Election strategist

Why: With his thick-rimmed glasses and spiky gelled hair, Prashant Kishor does not look like he belongs to politics. But then, the election strategist, backroom boy and Chanakya of our times (the terminology around him is still evolving) has established quickly that his presence in the political world is entirely on his own terms. Now, for those who can’t get Kishor, the market is flooded with me-toos.

Power Punch: After the 2014 general election where his contribution was not sufficiently acknowledged, he helped the Mahagathbandhan to a massive win in Bihar.

What Next: He has taken up the brief for Congress in Punjab, which is another prestige battle for BJP.

By the way: Team Kishor is made up entirely of technocrats.

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Rank 97: Shah Rukh Khan, 50 Actor

Why: At 50, he is still India’s top romantic hero. Dilwale, where he teamed up with Kajol, didn’t do too well at the box office, but that has not dented his fan base or his advertising deals. His team Kolkata Knight Riders is among top IPL contenders.

Power Punch: “Religious intolerance and not being secular… is the worst kind of crime that you can do as a patriot,” Khan had said in November, lending his voice to the debate.

What Next: Khan has two key releases this year. In Raees, he plays a Muslim bootlegger in Gujarat. In Fan, Khan has a double role where he plays a film star and also his biggest fan.

By the way: His first job was as an usher at a Pankaj Udhas concert in Delhi in the 1980s, for which he got Rs 50.

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Rank 98: Priyanka Chopra, 33 Actor

Why: She became the first South Asian to headline an American network TV series with Quantico. She also had two impressive releases in 2015 in Dil Dhadakne Do, Bajirao Mastani.

Power Punch: She was awarded the Padma Shri. She also won the People’s Choice Award 2016 for ‘Favorite Actress in a New TV Series’ for Quantico.

What Next: Prakash Jha’s Jai Gangaajal, with her in the lead, is up next. She will also make her debut as a producer with her production house backing regional cinema.

By the way: Chopra switches to a new perfume with every new project.

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Rank 99: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, 59,Founder, Art of Living

Why: In 2015, the spiritual guru won the highest civilian prizes given by South American countries Colombia and Peru, apart from the Padma Vibhushan. He was conferred the prizes for his social work and peace efforts.

Power Punch: The peace he brokered between Colombia troops and guerrilla movement FARC in the course of his visit to Cuba in 2015.

What Next: Sri Sri has emerged as a key figure in the debate over the ban on entry of women in certain temples of India. He has advocated a middle path.

By the way: He is one of the founders of the World Forum for Ethics in Business.

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Rank 100: Ravish Kumar, 41Senior executive editor, NDTV India

Why: In the noisy space of television news, he stands out with his informed, incisive and often witty taken on current affairs. One of the most influential anchors in Hindi news, who takes up issues that concern the common man, he is heard when he speaks by viewers and his blog has a large following.

Power Punch: He made a powerful statement against news TV’s coverage of the JNU stand-off by blanking out the screen on his Primetime show.

What Next: He recently turned author with Ishq Mein Shahar Hona.

By The Way: From Motihari in Bihar, he studied history at DU.