Beating Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emerges as the 'World's Most Powerful Person 2019' in the reader's poll conducted by UK-based British Herald magazine.
While PM Modi won with 30.9 percent votes, he was followed by Vladimir Putin (29.9 percent), Donald Trump (21.9 percent), and Xi Jinping with 18.1 percent votes.
The website described him as a key figure in the Asian region who has played an active role in implementing his "act east policies". It also complimented the global recognition PM Modi received regarding efforts towards climate change as it affects millions of rural Indians.
Apart from welfare initiatives like Ayushman Bharat (National Health Protection Scheme), Prime Minister Ujjwala Yojna, Swatch Bharat (Clean India), his aggressive stances regarding national security as demonstrated during the Balakot airstrikes, were cited as elements that guaranteed him support in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
However, criticism such as the high unemployment rate, rising Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), high inflation rates as well as rates of fuel despite promises made in 2014 was also cited as 'backlash'. Other major policies such as the demonetisation, revamping of goods and services tax (GST) were also stated as a major threat to the Indian economy.
Despite the criticism, the website stated that it was because "the people of India have accepted his style of governance and politics" that the Modi achieved a landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Narendra Modi will be featured on the front cover page of the British Herald magazine which will be released on July 2019. The magazine had featured New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in its May-June issue and Russian President Vladimir Putin in its March-April issue.
But what is the British Herald?
A recent investigation by Alt News revealed that while its official wesite, www.britishherald.com mention 'via Reuters' under its logo banner, it is owned by an Indian, Ansif Ashraf.
Although the company is registered in the UK, Alt News reported that Ashraf is an Indian businessman from Kerala who is the editor-in-chief of the Cochin Herald and owner of British Herald with 85 percent shares.
Ansif Ashraf's Wikipedia page describes him as an Indian businessman from Kerala who is the editor-in-chief of the Cochin Herald and owns British Herald.