Time has shortlisted 42 global leaders, entrepreneurs and celebrities for its 'Person of the Year 2013' and will announce the winner next month.
Other candidates in fray are Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, US President Barack Obama, Pakistani teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and even the new heir to the British throne Prince George.
On Modi, Time said "the controversial Hindu nationalist and Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat is the most likely candidate to unseat Indias ruling Congress party in the worlds largest democracy."
Modi is the only Indian in the shortlist. While Time's editors will choose the winner, it has asked readers to cast their votes for the person they think "most influenced the news this year for better or worse". So far Modi has got over 2650 votes and with about 25 per cent, is leading the online readers' poll.
Modi is way ahead with Snowden, who garnered the second highest number of votes at about 7 per cent as on November 20.
Obama, who has twice been named 'Person of the Year', is in the shortlist with the US magazine saying the President's "second term started with a slew of self-inflicted wounds and unfulfilled promise(s), from an IRS scandal and stalled immigration reform to the bungled Obamacare launch".
Syrian President Bashar Assad is also among the contenders. Among the other candidates are New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, J P Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Pope Francis, Oscar winner Angelina Jolie. International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Germany's re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin are other contenders. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Chinese President Xi Jinping are also among those shortlisted.
Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspects in the Boston Marathon terror bombings, are in the shortlist too.