'Sonia Gandhi tops the list of 20 most popular women in India'

Sonia Gandhi

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi tops the list of "20 Most Popular Women in India in 2012" in which her current political rivals Mamata Banerjee and Jayalalithaa Jayaram also figure.

ICICI MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, Pepsico Chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan are the others who figure in the list prepared after a survey jointly conducted by Assocham and a media house.

The survey placed Sonia Gandhi in the top position, followed by Chanda Kochhar in second, Indra Nooyi in third, CMD of Biocon Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw in fourth and actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in fifth.

Axis Bank MD and CEO Shikha Sharma, actress Vidya Balan and Olympic bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom, were placed in sixth, seventh and eighth positions, respectively, according to the survey released on the eve of the International Women's Day.

Assocham said the survey was conducted in January and February this year.

The chamber claimed that about 2,000 working women in 11 sectors like marketing, IT and ITeS, manufacturing and banking and finance were surveyed in various cities including National Capital Region, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune.

Badminton player Saina Nehwal was in 9th position, India's first women IPS officer Kiran Bedi in 10th and HSBC Country Head Naina Lal Kidwai in 11th.

Others who appeared in the list include Piramal Life Sciences Vice-Chairperson Swati Piramal (12th), actress Shabana Azmi (13th), Balaji Telefilms Creative Director Ekta Kapoor (14th), Film Director Zoya Akhtar (15th), leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj (16th), Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram (17th), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (18th), Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar (19th) and Lok Sabha MP Dimple Yadav (20th).

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