Sonia Gandhi 21st in Forbes most powerful list, pits Rahul Gandhi vs Manmohan Singh

SoniaSonia Gandhi also beats Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Forbes Most Powerful List. (PTI)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi was ranked 21st among the world's most powerful people by Forbes magazine on Wednesday, making her the third most powerful of women leaders included in the list.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff were the only women who figured ahead of the 66-year-old Gandhi in the list of 72 politicians, heads of state and business leaders.

Sonia Gandhi was also ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who came in seven slots below her.

In a separate list of the world's 100 most powerful women, Forbes ranked Sonia Gandhi in the ninth position.

"As president of the Indian National Congress, Sonia Gandhi heads the ruling political party of the world's second largest population," read her brief profile on the Forbes website.

"Rumors persist of a rift between her and soft-spoken Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with many expecting Singh to leave office before the 2014 general elections," it said.

The profile noted that Rahul Gandhi, described as the "heir apparent in the nation's most famous political dynasty", had recently "snubbed Singh publicly".

Manmohan Singh's profile noted that the 81-year-old Prime Minister was "credited with shaping India's economic and social welfare reforms". But it also said his "quiet intellectualism renders him a timid public figure".

Rahul Gandhi's recent criticism of Manmohan Singh over an ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers was "indicative of Singh's diminishing coterie; rumor has it he will soon resign", the profile said.

Soon after the criticism, Rahul Gandhi had acted to mend fences with Singh.

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