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Top 10 Powerful Person in India 2022

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However, one aspect of the last year’s events is revealed in part by the absence of another kind. There are now hardly any voices outside of “The Establishment” trying to be heard as the government extends its reach into the final unexplored area of digital space. Power continues to be concentrated in the political, as seen by the fact that more over half of the 100 are connected to the federal or state governments.

1. Narendra Modi, 70

Prime Minister of India (2019 Rank: 1)

Narendra Modi has dominated India’s political landscape more than ever since he assumed power seven years ago, from forcing a nation of 1.3 billion people to adhere to strict lockdown regulations to putting the country on the route of creating and distributing indigenous Covid-19 vaccinations.

Why

Since he assumed power seven years ago, Narendra Modi has exerted greater political influence than ever before, from imposing strict lockdown regulations on a country of 1.3 billion people to putting India on the route to making and distributing indigenous Covid-19 vaccinations.

Power Punch

Amid the border stand-off, he pulled off a diplomatic coup over China by committing to send vaccines made in India to other countries — over 70 countries and counting. On February 10, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who had spoken out on the farmers’ protest, called up the PM seeking support for his country’s vaccination efforts, and was assured help.

2. Amit Shah, 56

Union Home Minister (2019 Rank: 2)

Why

Since he assumed power seven years ago, Narendra Modi has exerted greater political influence than ever before, from imposing strict lockdown regulations on a country of 1.3 billion people to putting India on the route to making and distributing indigenous Covid-19 vaccinations.

Power Punch

He managed to get former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, along with almost two dozen MLAs, to walk out of the Congress, a move that toppled the Kamal Nath government and placed Shivraj Singh Chouhan back in the saddle.

3. Mohan Bhagwat, 70

RSS chief (2019 Rank: 4)

Why

Shah is the de facto leader of the BJP and has a substantial impact on the organisation, despite stepping down as party president in 2019. Under his leadership, the BJP’s ideology has been steadily boiling over—from repealing Article 370 in August 2019 to moving on with the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the face of opposition to currently spearheading the party’s Ram Mandir campaign.

Power Punch

Despite no official position, Bhagwat was part of the Ram temple foundation laying ceremony in August 2020, imprinting the RSS mark on the project. Plus, despite the Ram Janm­a­bhoomi judgment, Bhagwat has restrained the Sangh’s longstanding demands of a similar nature in Kashi and Mathura.

4. J P Nadda, 60

President, Bharatiya Janata Party (2019 Rank: 10)

Why

In the BJP, where Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are prominent figures, Nadda has slid into the position of party leader with ease. Nadda has overseen a strong outreach drive for the party throughout the lockdown since he became leadership in January 2020. Additionally, he launched a campaign to educate Bengalis ahead of elections about the new agriculture rules.

Power Punch

It was Nadda who took the lead in BJP’s campaign in Bihar, where the party not only managed to win the election for the coalition but also reduced its powerful ally, JD(U), to a junior partner.

5. Mukesh Ambani, 63

Chairman and MD, Reliance Industries (2019 Rank: 5)

Why

Mukesh Ambani is Chairman, MD and majority stakeholder of Reliance Industries, India’s largest company in terms of market capitalisation, and a leader in retail business and telecom. With assets worth around $80 billion, Ambani is also the richest person in Asia and the seventh richest in the world (in 2020).

Power Punch

Since April 2020, RIL led by Mukesh Ambani has raised around Rs 2.5 lakh crore ($34 billion) through a combination of stake sales in its retail and digital services segments and a rights issue offering.

6. Rajnath Singh, 69

Minister of Defence (2019 Rank: 6)

Why

Considered the softer face of the NDA government in Parliament, Singh, a former agriculture minister in the Vajpayee Cabinet, is expected to emerge as the key pointsperson for the government in defusing the protracted farmers’ protests.

Power Punch

In one of the worst military standoffs with China, which began in May 2020, it was Singh’s decision to cross the LAC and capture strategic heights in the Kailash Range that gave India the leverage to negotiate and get Finger 4 on Pangong Tso’s north bank vacated.

7. Ajit Doval, 76

National Security Advisor (2019 Rank: 7)

Why

Almost seven years into the NSA role, Doval is still one of the most influential officials in the government. He enjoys the PM’s complete trust, and is considered one of the most influential NSAs since the office was created with Brajesh Mishra as its first occupant.

Power punch

His conversations with his Pakistan counterpart, Moeed Yusuf, in a third country, and communication with Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in the last three months, led to the pact between the two militaries to adhere to the ceasefire agreement. Working closely with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, he helped navigate the crisis along the Line of Actual Control.

8. Nitin Gadkari, 63

Minister of Road Transport and Highways and MSME (2019 Rank: 9)

Why

Gadkari, who carries the image of being a doer, has won praise from both within his party and outside. He publicly attacks bureaucratic inertia, doesn’t shy away from taking on powerful lobbies if they come in the way of his reform agenda and is candid about shortcomings in his ministries. Being a former BJP party president close to the RSS, Gadkari continues to be a significant power centre within the ruling establishment.

Power Punch

Despite the pandemic, he got the highways sector back on track, ending the financial year with a record level of road construction. He has also galvanised the MSME sector to ride on the Atmanirbhar push.

9. Nirmala Sitharaman, 61

Union Finance Minister (2019 Rank: 8)

Why

A key communicator, Sitharaman skilfully steered the economy during the pandemic, from a total shutdown and economic contraction to a subsequent exit from recession in October-December ’20.

Power Punch

Apart from targeted support to needy citizens and businesses last year, Sitharaman has been lauded for producing a Budget that puts the economy on a reset mode, with a clear roadmap of the government exiting various businesses through privatisation, focus on spending to put the economy on a steady growth path and transparent budget accounting.

10. Gautam Adani, 58

Chairman, Adani Group (2019 Rank: 28)

Why

Considered close to the current dispensation, Adani has built the fastest growing conglomerate. While Adani Power is the largest private power company, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone handles India’s largest commercial port.

Power Punch

The Adani group has acquired a controlling stake in the Mumbai International Airport, besides six others, making it the largest airport operator in the country. It also has a strategic partnership with global oil and gas major Total in the natural gas and renewables space.

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