Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha broke into top 25 in the list of ‘Most Powerful Indians’ released by the Indian Express, Daily Excelsior reported.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at No. 1 position followed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud is at fourth position and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is at fifth place. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is at sixth spot.
BJP national president JP Nadda is at seventh slot followed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani is at ninth place and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval is at 10th place.
Significantly, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is at 15th spot behind West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who are at 13th and 14th places respectively.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha is at 24th place ahead of Union Minister for Road, Transport and National Highway Nitin Gadkari (26th place) and many other Union Ministers including Mansukh Mandaviya (27th), Bhupender Yadav (32nd), Anurag Thakur (36th) and Smriti Irani (37th).
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti, 63 and Dr Farooq Abdullah, 85, are at 88th and 89th places in the list of ‘Most Powerful Indians’ while another former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah didn’t find a place in the list.
About Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 72 topping the list of ‘Most Powerful Indians’, the newspaper wrote: “Year Nine and Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains The Great Disruptor. The powerful outsider and the incumbent with the strongest shield against anti-incumbency as he heads his party’s campaign for a third term next year. From toilets and gas cylinders to splitting Jammu and Kashmir, laying the foundation of the Ram temple to a new sport on global stage, Modi’s power draws from his energy to shape the discourse—and reshape it as per his wish”.
It said every election is fought in his name. Modi often encourages his Council of Ministers to talk and engage with junior officers and staff and learn from their experiences. The G-20 summit in September will buttress his India-as-global leader image, right in time for countdown to Campaign 2024, it added.
On No. 2 Amit Shah, 58 the Indian Express said “Together with Narendra Modi, he is one half of the BJP’s formidable Big Two.
A master strategist, despite not being national president of the BJP for three years now, Shah’s imprint has been visible in each of the BJP’s big electoral victories–from Gujarat to Maharashtra to UP and the Northeast.
On Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, 63, the Indian Express wrote: “It is not easy to run Jammu and Kashmir, especially after the abrogation of its special status in 2019. While it saw his predecessor being transferred in just a year after revocation of special status, Manoj Sinha has managed to cling on to power for almost three years now. Also, at the Centre, the belief is that the dynasty reigns of the Abdullahs and Muftis are passe and Jammu and Kashmir needs new faces. Sinha has been brought in to identify younger politicians, who can bridge the gap with seniors of the region as well as bring disparate sections of the society together”.
Highlighting achievement of the Lieutenant Governor for breaking into top 25, the paper said after a long gap, Sinha has managed to get the first Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Valley. A two-screen cinema multiplex and a big shopping mall, now in the works, are two big visible changes that he is pushing for despite the security challenges.
“In pushing forward the development agenda, the Lieutenant Governor has always acknowledged that the conflict has scarred both the communities, which adds to his credibility,” the paper wrote.
On what could be next, it said with the Assembly elections overdue, Sinha’s biggest challenge would be to ensure conducive atmosphere for free and fair polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
It said Manoj Sinha is fond of quoting from Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s poems, especially the epic Rashmirathi (1952).
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is 11th Most Powerful Indian followed by BJP general secretary (organizations) BL Santhosh, who is at 12th position.
The newspaper has put Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at 16th place, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at 17th, Enforcement Directorate chief Sanjay Kumar Mishra at 18th, Union Ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Kiren Rijiju at 19th and 20th places, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Dass at 21st, TATA Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran at 22nd and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge at 23rd spot. G 20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant is at 25th place.
Significantly, Kharge is ahead in the list of `Most Powerful Indians’ from Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, 76 years old, who is at 30th position behind Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Hardeep Singh Puri, who are at 28th and 29th places. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is at 65th spot.
Gautam Adani is at 33rd place. Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, 33, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son is 40th Most Powerful Indian. Uddhav Thackeray is at 44th place while Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairperson Bharti Enterprises is at 45th place.
Thirty four year old Jay Shah, BCCI Secretary is at 47th spot and Nita Ambani at 48th. Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, 57, is at 50th place ahead of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who is at 52nd spot. Cricketer Virat Kohli is at 53rd place while veteran politician Sharad Pawar is at 57th place and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy at 50th spot.
Another powerful RSS leader and organization’s general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale is at 60th place ahead of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is at 61st position.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar are at 62nd and 63rd positions respectively. Forty-nine-year-old Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is at 68th place.
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan, Army chief Gen Manoj Pande, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Principal Secretary to PM PK Mishra are at 70th, 71st, 72nd and 73rd places respectively.
Asaduddin Owaisi is at 82nd place and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has been listed at 84th spot. Actor Amitabh Bachchan, 80, is at 87th place.