Narendra Modi ranks 15th in Forbes power list, Sonia Gandhi out

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi has powered his way into the Forbes list of world's most powerful people, ranking 15th among 72. Russian President Vladimir Putin topped the list, pipping his US counterpart Barack Obama for the second year in a row.

But as Modi rose, the once powerful Congress chief Sonia Gandhi slipped out of the Forbes power list. Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, who was the highest ranked Indian last year, was at 21st place.

"India's newest rock star doesn't hail from Bollywood. He is the newly elected Prime Minister who sailed into office in May with a landslide victory, ushering the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) into power after decades of control by the Gandhi dynasty," Forbes commented on PM Narendra Modi.

"Modi is credited with massive reconstruction projects in his home state of Gujarat. His administration promises to bring economic rejuvenation to other beleaguered parts of India. The world is as impressed as the citizens of India: So far he's toured the US and China and met with his Southeast Asian neighbours," the magazine said.

For a second year in a row, Russian President Vladimir Putin has beaten Barack Obama to the title of world's most powerful leader as ranked by Forbes.

In a year in which Russia annexed Crimea, stoked a conflict in Ukraine and clinched a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline deal with China that Forbes called the world's largest construction project, Putin remained on top.

The list of 72 most powerful people in the world also included three other Indian names - Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani at 36th place, ArcelorMittal chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal at 57th and Microsoft's Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella at 64th.

This year, there are 12 newcomers on the list, including PM Modi and Egypt President Abdel el-Sisi.

Alibiba founder and China's richest man Jack Ma made a first appearance after his record-breaking $25 billion initial public offering in September, as did terror group Islamic State's chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.