Votes roll in for Narendra Modi as Time's Person of the Year

Gujarat's controversial Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been shortlisted by Time magazine as a candidate for its 'Person of the Year' title, and has apparently emerged as an early favourite among the readers in an online poll.

Time has shortlisted 42 global leaders, entrepreneurs and celebrities for its 'Person of the Year 2013' title. The winner is to be announced in December.

Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspects in the Boston Marathon terror bombings, are in the shortlist too – which doesn't put Modi in very august company, even if he wins the title.

Other candidates are Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, US President Barack Obama, teenaged Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, Edward Snowden, who blew the whistle on the US National Security Agency's surveillance programme, and even the newest 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 India's ruling Congress party in the world's 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 for worse".

So far Modi has got over 2,650 votes and with about 25 per cent, is leading the online readers' poll.

Snowden is a distant second, garnering the second highest number of votes at about 7 per cent as on 20 November.

On Obama, who has twice been named 'Person of the Year', the US-based Time said his "second term started with a slew of self-inflicted wounds and unfulfilled promise, from an IRS scandal and stalled immigration reform to the bungled Obamacare launch".

Syrian President Mohammed Bashar Assad is also among the contenders. The list is a long one, including New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo, J P Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon, Pope Francis, Oscar-winning actor Angelina Jolie, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, Germany's re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Chinese President Xi Jinping.