New York: Making her debut in the club of 100 most powerful women in the world, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati hasjoined Congress party president Sonia Gandhi on a list compiled by US magazine ‘Forbes’.
While Gandhi, also chairperson of the country’s ruling United Progressive Alliance, or UPA, has slipped from her previous year’s sixth rank to 21st this year, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati has made her debut at the 59th spot. The list also includes Indra Nooyi, the India-born chief of global soft drinks major PepsiCo, at third, up from the fifth last year, and biotechnology firm Biocon Ltd’s chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw at the 99th position. The list has been topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On Gandhi, the magazine said the Italy-born leader of India’s ruling party has by now assumed the role of an elder stateswoman.
“Although she remains firmly at the head of the country’s ruling party, a rising star, known by the single name Mayawati, is challenging Gandhi’s position as the country’s most powerful woman,” it said.
Mayawati’s BSP recently withdrew its outside support to the UPA. The magazine described her as the one “in the running to be Prime Minister, from her perch as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state”.