Just hours after he emerged as the most popular nominee from India, Aam Aadmi Party founder Arvind Kejriwal has beaten a slew of American celebrities to emerge as the candidate with the most ‘yes’ votes on Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in the world in 2014.
UPDATE: TIME has rejected most of the votes as fakes in its final tally, but maintained Kejriwal as the winner.
Kejriwal was well behind American celebrities like Katy Perry and Laverne Cox in the morning, when news started spreading that Kejriwal has swept the online poll and beaten Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi by a big margin.
That led to an ‘arms race’ between supporters of Kejriwal and Modi to get as many of their peers to vote in the poll. The poll requires a Facebook or a Twitter account on the side of the voter.
Kejriwal had around 41,000 yes votes in the morning, and that figure has risen to about 55,000 by 8:10 pm, making him No. 1 in the poll so far.
Meanwhile, Modi’s votes too have increased. The Gujarat chief minister had about 10,300 votes in the morning, which has risen to about 14,700 votes. While Kejriwal has gone to the top, Modi has risen fast – going from No. 18 on the list (according to ‘yes’ votes) to No. 13 by the evening.
It must be remembered that Modi’s votes this year are not even one tenth of what they were last year. In 2013 Time 100 poll, Modi drew a total of 5.23 lakh votes , though more than half were negative. In fact, counting both negative and positive votes, Modi was the top vote gainer last year.
Modi continues to rank second in ‘no’ votes, behind Canadian singer Justin Bieber.
While Arvind Kejriwal has 83.7% of those who voted for in the ‘yes’ camp, Modi has 38.9% of his voters pushing the ‘yes’ button. Among the lowest approval rating among Indian politicians on the poll was for Congress Party’s likely prime ministerial candidate Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi had an approval rating of just 19.1% and just 3,150 people wanted to have him on the list out of the total 16,500 people who voted on him.
It is not clear why Modi has had only a fraction of votes cast on him this year compared to the last.
The poll is open till Apr 22 and those interested can vote here.