Manmohan Singh declared 'NDTV leader of the year'

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was tonight chosen ''NDTV Leader of the Year'', said he had enjoyed every moment of his political career which gave him opportunity to serve the people, though he was a politician and Prime Minister by accident.

Speaking after receiving the award, he said political power was his societal trust and it was to be used for the good of the people.

Dr Singh said politics was not his ''chosen career'' but he had been in this profession since 1991 and learnt a great deal during the period.

When asked whether he had faced any disappointments in his life, especially in relation to the civil nuclear deal, the Prime Minister said he always prayed to God to give him courage to carry on the tasks.

To a question whether elections were going to take place in 2008-2009, he said, ''I hope 2009 is the right time for elections.'' Dr Singh was chosen out of the nominees, which included distinguished figures like former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and film actor Shahrukh Khan.

Leader of Opposition L K Advani, UP Chief Minister Mayawati, Dr R K Pachauri, Wipro CEO Azim Premji, RIL MD Mukesh Ambani, sports stars Sania Mirza and M S Dhoni were the other nominees.

Previous winners of the awards have been Tata group chairman Ratan Tata, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

Environmentalist Dr R K Pachauri got the NDTV global Indian of the year award. Dr Pachauri is the chairman of the IPCC, the UN body and climate change, which shared this year's nobel peace prize with former US Vice President Al Gore.

In the Unsung hero category, the honour went to Indian soldiers.

The Indian of the year award also went to Indian soldiers.

The special entertainment award went to Shahrukh Khan while Rajni Kant was declared entertainer of the year.

The NDTV award for music was given to A R Rehman and the business man of the year honour went to Mukesh Ambani.

Vishwanath Anand was declared NDTV sportsperson of the year.

The NDTV special award went to Daichung Bhutia.

NDTV Special business award went to K P Singh.

The awards were given at a function attended by a galaxy of personalities from different walks of life, including several cabinet ministers and top politicians of the country.

The jury comprised eminent personalities such as Sir Mark Tully (former BBC South Asia correspondent and Indophile), Kiran Karnik (President, National Association of Software and Services Companies), Shobha De (Author and Columnist), Shyam Benegal (Director, Dadasaheb Phalke award winner) and Shekhar Gupta (Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express).

Besides, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (former captain of the Indian cricket team), Ramachandra Guha (social, environmental and cricket historian, academician and biographer), Justice JS Verma (former Chief Justice of India), Justice Leila Seth (first woman to become Chief Justice of a state High Court), and former Chairman of ISRO Dr K Kasturirangan, (Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore) are also on the jury.

''The award is a salute to people who have helped build Brand India while excelling in their field of expertise, Dr Prannoy Roy, Chairman, NDTV said.


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