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TRIPLE RIPPLE: Leaders who have rocked and ruled

Last updated on: September 24, 2013 08:35 IST

TRIPLE RIPPLE: Leaders who have rocked and ruled

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Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday won a historic third term by a landslide in the German elections.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, finished four seats short of an absolute majority in the new Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, one of the best results achieved by the conservatives.

The two parties together polled 41.7 per cent of the votes, nearly right per cent more than in the last election four years ago and secured a total of 311 seats in the lower house, according to official results. In a result that was closely watched in Europe, Merkel not only crushed her opponents, but some of her allies too.

By doing so, the German chancellor has joined a small, but exclusive club of leaders who have achieved the same feat.

Rediff.com brings you a list of such leaders.

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Image: German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union Angela Merkel smiles as she addresses supporters at the party headquarters in Berlin
Photographs: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

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Jawaharlal Nehru

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Jawaharlal Nehru was elected by the Congress to assume office as independent India's first prime minister although the question of leadership had been settled as far back in 1941, when Mahatma Gandhi acknowledged him as his political heir and successor.

As prime minister, Nehru set out to realise his vision of India. The Constitution of India was enacted in 1950, after which he embarked on an ambitious program of economic, social and political reforms.

He oversaw India's transition from a monarchy to a republic, while nurturing a plural, multi-party democracy. In foreign policy, Nehru took a leading role in non-alignment while projecting India as a regional hegemon in South Asia.

He ruled India from its establishment as an independent nation in 1947 until his death in office in 1964, winning three elections during this time.

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Jyoti Basu

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Jyoti Basu served as the chief minister of West Bengal from 1977 to 2000, making him the longest-serving chief minister of any state of India. Basu was a member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Politburo from the time of the party's founding in 1964 until 2008.

From 2008 until his death in 2010, he remained a permanent invitee to the central committee of the party.

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Photographs: Reuters

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N T Rama Rao

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After his career in films, Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, or NTR, as he was known among his millions of fans, entered politics. He founded the Telugu Desam Party in 1982 and served three tumultuous terms as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh between 1983 and 1995.

He was known as an advocate of Andhra Pradesh's distinct cultural identity, distinguishing it from the erstwhile Madras State with which it was often associated. At the national level, he was instrumental in the formation of the National Front, a coalition of non-Congress parties which governed India from 1989 until 1990.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Narendra Modi

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Narendra Modi the chief minister of Gujarat, too has won three terms. He is the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance for the upcoming 2014 general elections.

He first became chief minister of Gujarat in October 2001, being promoted to the office upon the resignation of his predecessor, Keshubhai Patel, following the defeat of the BJP in the by-elections.

In July 2007, he became the longest-serving chief minister in Gujarat's history when he had been in power for 2,063 days continuously.

He is currently into his third consecutive term as chief minister.

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Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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Franklin D Roosevelt

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945).

He was also the only President who served for 12 years and four terms until his death in 1945, and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic depression and total war.

A dominant leader of the Democratic Party and the only American president elected to more than two terms, he built a New Deal Coalition that realigned American politics after 1932, as his domestic policies defined American liberalism for the middle third of the 20th century.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Hugo Chavez

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Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was the president of Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013.

He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when it merged with several other parties to form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, which he led until 2012.

After winning the October 2012 presidential election, he was to have been sworn in on 10 January 2013, but the National Assembly of Venezuela agreed to postpone the inauguration to allow him time to recover from medical treatment in Cuba, resulting from a return of the cancer that was originally diagnosed in June 2011.

Chávez died in Caracas on 5 March 2013 at the age of 58.

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Photographs: Jorge Silva/Reuters

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Margaret Thatcher

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Margaret Hilda Thatcher was the prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990.

She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and is the only woman to have held the office.

A Soviet journalist called her the "Iron Lady", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As prime minister, she implemented policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.

She passed away in April this year aged 87.


Image: Margaret Thatcher points skyward as she receives standing ovation at Conservative Party Conference on October 13, 1989
Photographs: Stringer/Reuters

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