Modi, Kejriwal Among Time’s 100 Most Influential People


NEW YORK – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have been voted among the 100 most influential people in the world in an online poll by readers of Time magazine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged the winner of this year’s Time 100 readers’ poll. He edged out rapper-singer CL (of the South Korean girl-group 2NE1) to claim the number one spot with 6.95 per cent of the votes in the final tally.

Pop stars Lady Gaga (2.6 per cent), Rihanna (1.9 per cent) and Taylor Swift (1.8 per cent) rounded out the top five.

While the official list of the 100 most influential people in the world will be announced later this week, Time editors had asked readers to cast their vote online for people from politics, entertainment, business, technology, science, religion and other fields who “changed the world this past year, for better or worse.”

PM Modi, however, garnered just 0.6 per cent of the votes cast, with only 34 per cent of the people voting in his favour and 66 per cent against.

Time said the “populist” leader, who swept to power last year on a pledge to boost India’s economic punch, has rolled out key economic reforms and restored close ties with the U.S., hosting U.S. President Barack Obama in January after a “rock star” visit to the U.S. last year.

Kejriwal got 0.5 per cent, with 71 per cent voters saying he should not be in the list.

On Kejriwal, Time said after a brief stint as chief minister of Delhi in 2013, he led his anti-establishment Aam Aadmi Party in a “rout of both leading national parties in Delhi assembly election.”

BJP President Amit Shah was also on the initial list but failed to garner enough votes to make it to the top 100.

Other winners of the online poll include U.S. presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Pope Francis, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The list also includes U.S. Surgeon General of Indian-origin Vivek Murthy, a healthcare reform advocate who was elected to his post amid opposition from the national rifle association over comments he had previously made about gun control as a healthcare issue.

Also on the list is Microsoft’s India-born chief Satya Nadella, who Time said has revitalised the “moribund” software company by introducing new ideas like Office for iPads and prototype virtual reality headset.

The winners of the online poll include Rapper Kanye West, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yahoo CEO Marisa Mayer.

More than half of the votes – 57.38 per cent – were cast within the U.S. Canada and the UK followed with 5.54 per cent and 4.55 per cent respectively.