The most powerful Indians in 2011: No. 31-40

Anand Sharma

31. Anand Sharma, 58

Union Commerce and Industries Minister

WHY

This erstwhile relative political lightweight makes it to the list for the first time, and that too pretty high up, because his influence in the party and the government has increased greatly. The Congress big three Sonia, Manmohan and Rahul all take him seriously. He took on Jairam Ramesh on the issue of trade relations with China. For the recent Congress plenary session, he was appointed chairman of a committee that drafted the foreign affairs resolution; Pranab Mukherjee was a member of that committee.

POWER PUNCH

He, along with Mukherjee, had a key role in drafting the Congress's authorised history. That's a big sign of the party leadership's confidence in him.

WHAT NEXT

A leading candidate in the very short list of probables who will get a more high-profile role in the Cabinet in the post-Budget reshuffle.

BY THE WAY

Loves his morning walk and is a regular at Delhi's Lodhi Garden.


32. Amar Pratap Singh, 58

CBI Director

WHY

He is the first CBI director on our list. And he comes in high on the list because since his appointment in November 2010, this 1974-batch IPS officer, known both for his integrity and work ethic, has been trying to restore CBI's credibility. Plus, the agency is now investigating a number of high-profile and sensitive cases: CWG and 2G corruption and the banks' cash-for-loan scam.

POWER PUNCH

He took the call to close the Arushi murder case. Lambasted by the media for that decision, he stuck to his view that it was better to admit failure than to drag an investigation that was going nowhere.

WHAT NEXT

It's big and obvious: successful and relatively quick investigations into high-profile cases.

... contd.

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