Sonia, Mayawati, Nooyi among world's 100 most powerful women

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New Delhi, Aug 28 (UNI) Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP supremo Mayawati, Chairman and CEO of Pepsico US Indra Nooyi, and Chairman and M D, Biocon Kiran Mazumdar Shaw are the four Indians who find place in the Forbes Magazine's list of 100 most powerful women of the year.

For the third year in succession, German chancellor Angela Merkel is the world's number one powerful woman, while Sheila C Blair, the Chairman of the US-based Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has been ranked second and Indian American Indra Nooyi ranked third.

U S Senator Hillary Clinton, who made an abortive bid for US presidential candidature, elections has been found to be the woman with the highest public profile. She has been ranked 28th.

Ms Gandhi, Ms Mayawati and Ms Shaw stand at 21st, 59th and 99th places, respectively, in the Forbes list.

According to the magazine, Nooyi is the highest-ranked woman in business as she continues to grow Pepsico, the 39 billion dollar food and beverage giant, through new product offerings and acquisitions.

Nooyi orchestrated a major expansion into international markets, most notably with a 1.4 billion dollar acquisition of a 75% stake in Russian juice giant Lebedyansky, it said.

The magazine said Ms Gandhi, ''the Italian-born leader of India's most powerful political party, the Indian National Congress'' continued to be firmly at the head of the organisation and had assumed the role of elder stateswoman, adding, however, that her position was now being challenged by 'a rising star' Mayawati.

Forbes noted Ms Mayawati's large following among dalits and her being in the race for prime ministership, and how in 2007 she shrewdly built an alliance with Brahmins to increase her party's base.

''The Bahujan Samaj Party, which she heads, has started to increase its national presence. Some say she could trail-blaze again as India's first Dalit Prime Minister,'' the magazine said.

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