Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears favourite to win the ‘Time Person of the Year’ poll, leading the online voting with a comfortable margin ahead of Ferguson protesters as voting closed for the annual honour.
Modi was the front runner with 16.2 per cent votes, followed by Ferguson protesters who got 9.2 per cent votes at the time the polls closed midnight last night.
While Time magazine’s editors will choose the ‘Person of the Year’, the winner of the readers’ poll will be announced on December 8.
The annual honour, bestowed by the magazine since 1927, goes to the person who “most influenced the news” during the year “for better or worse.”
In a separate “Face-off” poll, Modi has been pitted against Indonesia’s new president Joko Widodo.
In this poll also, Modi has maintained a significant lead and garnered 69 per cent votes as against Widodo’s 31 per cent.
At the third position was 18-year-old student activist Joshua Wong, who has become the face of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.
He had got seven per cent of the votes cast, followed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai with 4.9 per cent votes.
US President Barack Obama could not make it to the top 10 slots and was trailing with 2.2 per cent votes at the 11th position.
The Ferguson protesters had temporarily taken the lead from Modi last week as people around the US demonstrated against a grand jury’s decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August.
But Modi, “seen by many in India and around the world as having the potential to reinvigorate the country’s economy,” soon regained the lead in the online poll.
Modi is among 50 global leaders, business chiefs and pop icons named as contenders for the honour.
The other candidates in the fray for the title are Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, US Secretary of State John Kerry and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Among the business chiefs and artists in the fray are Amazaon CEO Jeff Bezos, Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba founder Jack Ma, GM’s first female CEO Mary Barra, Apple CEO Tim Cook and singers Beyonce, Taylor Swift, reality star Kim Kardashian and actress Jennifer Lawrence.