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Sonia most powerful Indian, Putin tops world list

Last updated on: October 31, 2013 15:55 IST

Sonia most powerful Indian, Putin tops world list

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi was ranked 21st among the world's most powerful people by Forbes magazine on Wednesday, making her the third most powerful of women leaders included in the list.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff were the only women who figured ahead of the 66-year-old Gandhi in the list of 72 politicians, heads of state and business leaders.

Sonia Gandhi was also ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who came in seven slots below her.

"As president of the Indian National Congress, Gandhi heads the ruling political party of the world's second largest population," read her brief profile on the Forbes website.

"Rumors persist of a rift between her and soft-spoken Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with many expecting Singh to leave office before the 2014 general elections," it said.

Let’s take a look at the top 15 powerful politicians...




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Vladimir Putin -- Rank 1

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This year, Russian President Vladimir Putin toppled on US President from the top of the power list.

According to Forbes, Putin has solidified his control over Russia and anyone watching the chess match over Syria has a clear idea of the shift in the power towards Putin on the global stage.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Barack Obama -- Rank 2

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United States President Barack Obama's lame duck period has set in earlier than usual for a two-term president, causing him to drop one notch from the Number 1 spot, Forbes reported

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Photographs: Reuters

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Xi Jinping -- Rank 3

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Forbes lists 60-year-old Xi Jinping as the paramount political and military leader of China, ruling over 1.3 billion people (close to 20% of the world's population).

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Photographs: Reuters

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Pope Francis -- Rank 4

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Pope Francis, says Forbes, has breathed new energy into the world's largest religion with 1.2 billion followers.

'The first Jesuit and Latin American Bishop of Rome preaches compassion for the poor and a greater role for women while signaling the church to quiet its focus on 'only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptives'. He has embraced social media, regularly using Twitter to dispense religious advice to his 3-plus million followers and is responsible for the world's first papal 'selfie'.'

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Photographs: Reuters

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Angela Merkel -- Rank 5

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is once again the world's most powerful woman.

According to Forbes, Merkel is the backbone of the 27-member European Union and carries the fate of the Euro on her shoulders.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud -- Rank 8

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Saudi Arabia's king Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, says Forbes, holds the keys to Islam's two holiest sites and the world's second largest crude oil deposit of some 265 billion barrels, amounting to about 18 per cent of global reserves

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Photographs: Reuters

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David Cameron -- Rank 10

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British Prime Minister David Cameron is no more hailed as the second coming of Margaret Thatcher, says Forbes.

'He has recently been criticized for a flip-flop approach to green taxes after he pledged to slash household energy bills. The Oxford graduate and descendent of King William IV (1830-1837) has fired at the Guardian newspapers and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for 'making it a lot more difficult to keep our countries and our citizens safe',' Forbes said.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Li Keqiang -- Rank 14

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Despite being a communist party loyalist, Forbes says, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has been credited with economic liberalism and a push for reforms such as greater market access and support for smaller businesses, 'especially innovative enterprises'.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Manmohan Singh -- Rank 28

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Manmohan Singh's profile on Forbes noted that the 81-year-old Prime Minister was "credited with shaping India's economic and social welfare reforms". But it also said his "quiet intellectualism renders him a timid public figure".

Rahul Gandhi's recent criticism of Manmohan Singh over an ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers was "indicative of Singh's diminishing coterie; rumor has it he will soon resign", the profile said.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Others in the Top 50 ranking

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Other noted political figures in the Top 50 ranking are:

French President Francois Hollande: Rank 18

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff: Rank 20

Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei: Rank 23

Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu: Rank 26

United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon: Rank 32

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: Rank 46


Photographs: Reuters

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