Placed ahead of Michelle Obama; Germany’s Merkel tops list for second year in a row

The Forbes magazine on Wednesday ranked United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi the sixth most powerful woman in the world, in its list of 100 women. German Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the list for the second year in a row; Ms. Gandhi is placed ahead of the U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.Ms. Gandhi (65) is among the five Indian women, who have been named in the ‘World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ list released by the magazine on Wednesday. She was ranked 7th last year.

Giving Ms. Gandhi company is Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi, who was ranked 12th, followed by Cisco Systems Chief Technology and Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior at 58th, ICICI Bank Managing Director and CEO Chanda Kochhar at 59th and Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw at 80th rank.

Forbes said Ms. Gandhi the “one-time heir to the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty,” successfully underwent surgery last year and was “back in fighting spirit last month when she publicly reprimanded a fellow parliamentarian during a session who had criticised her party’s handling of this summer’s rioting in Assam.”

The longest serving chief in the Congress party’s history, Ms. Gandhi has had to defend herself and the party after a spate of key Assembly elections this year, blaming the drubbing on weak candidates and State party organisations.

“Lauded for overseeing heavy economic growth, she is also criticised for tolerating political corruption and failing to forge connections with India’s fastest growing, demographic younger voters,” the publication said.

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