Modi tops list of Most Powerful Indians, Shah at No. 2; RSS chief, CJI at 3rd & 4th places

Modi tops list of Most Powerful Indians, Shah at No. 2; RSS chief, CJI at 3rd & 4th places
Modi tops list of Most Powerful Indians, Shah at No. 2; RSS chief, CJI at 3rd & 4th places

‘Sinha figures at 53rd spot, ‘LG Mulaqat’ Prog a hit’
*Rahul trails Himanta, Mamata

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Feb 29: Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again topped the list of Most Powerful Indians while Union Home Minister Amit Shah retained the second spot in the list of 100 powerful Indians released by the Indian Express today.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who is posted in Jammu and Kashmir for last three and half years, figured at 53rd place. No political leader from J&K figured in the list. Last year, National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, both former Chief Ministers of J&K, were among the list of 100 Most Powerful Indians.
At 53rd place, 64-year-old Manoj Sinha is ahead of many bigwigs of the country including Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav (55th), Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaggan Reddy (56th), Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami (61st), Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann (64th), Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupender Patel (71st) and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar (82nd).
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is at No. 3 followed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is at sixth place ahead of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is at seventh place. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is at No. 8 while BJP chief JP Nadda is at ninth place.
Business tycoon Gautam Adani is at 10th place ahead of Mukesh Ambani, who is at No. 11.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is leading ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, is at 16th place behind Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Ashwini Vaishnaw, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who are at 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th places.
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi is further behind at 29th place. Even Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is at 22nd place while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is at 18th spot.
For Prime Minister Narendra Modi who again topped the list, the newspaper wrote: “because Modi has only grown taller and stronger-no PM has entered an election year, looking at another term, with so resounding popularity. For his party, his 370 seat call rides on the wave of two terms of his Government that has ramped up welfare, kept growth ticking, moderated inflation and secure a special place for India in the world.
“All this backed by formidable party machinery, deliveries on ideological promises, including abrogation of Article 370 and consecration of the Ram temple”.
For Manoj Sinha, the newspaper said he has been at the helm in J&K for over three years now.
“Over the past year, Sinha has enhanced public engagement, sometimes addressing multiple events the same day. Targeted killings, protests by Kashmiri Pandits and the Gujjar/Bakerwal communities have been challenges for him in the absence of elected leaders in J&K”.
It descried conduct of Tourism Group meeting of G20 in Srinagar in May last year as a new feather in his cap and credited him with driving infrastructure push in the region.
“Sinha has been focusing on effective administration during his tenure. His fortnightly feature, the `LG Mulaqat’ is a hit. The entire administration meets via video-conferencing and complaints submitted via the LG’s Grievance cell are taken up for resolution, Given the fact of direct representation in the State, in terms of elected leaders, many people have taken the LG Grievance Cell route,” the newspaper wrote.
It said the Lieutenant Governor also meets wide range of people in his office in Srinagar and Jammu.
On What Next for Manoj Sinha, the newspaper mentioned that since the Supreme Court has set a September deadline for Assembly elections in J&K, helping start the political process and bridging local mistrust will be Sinha’s next challenge.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is No. 2 in the list of Most Powerful Indians, has been described by the newspaper as chief strategist of the BJP though he is not the party president. helming the party juggernaut as it powers through the Hindi heartland-Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and targets new territories including the Southern States and West Bengal.
“Shah piloted the three bills that overhauled India’s British era criminal justice system. While doing so, he linked the new laws to the country’s pride. Also, the BJP’s target of 370 seats in upcoming Lok Sabha polls is a reference to the other bill that Shah piloted in 2019-the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act that resulted in the abrogation of Article 370, seen as the BJP’s most decisive move yet,” the newspaper wrote for the Home Minister.
On What Next for Shah, it said: “In J&K, Shah’s Ministry and forces will have to check terrorist violence, now spreading to Jammu, and create conditions conducive for the political process to start”.
On Mohan Bhagwat, RSS chief, who figured at No. 3 in the list, the newspaper said Bhagwat is Sarsanghchalak of the RSS when the Sangh Parivar celebrates its longest uninterrupted innings in pow”Article 370 and the Ram temple, its key ideological milestones, have been reached. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlining in his January 22 speech that the temple marks a journey from ‘Ram to Rashtra’ and ‘Dev to Desh’, the RSS knows that a third term for the BJP means its influence is only going to touch more and more aspects of governance,” the newspaper said.