Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has emerged as the most preferred brand ambassador for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, with 72 per cent of the respondents choosing him in the latest survey by a leading industry lobby.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar came next with 62 per cent in the survey, conducted among 10,000 students by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, ahead of the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.
Actor Aamir Khan with 56 per cent and music composer-director AR Rahman with 42 per cent were next on the list of those who polled, where the choice was limited to the youth, under categories including actors, politicians, sportspersons and other celebrities.
The survey was conducted by the philanthropic arm of the industry lobby - The Assocham Social Development Foundation - in cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Dehradun, Jaipur, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar.
"Seventy-two per cent of the respondents said Rahul Gandhi is the most honest, straightforward and trustworthy leader," said the chamber, adding people want him to provide vision, ideas, awareness, patriotism and a wider concept to the Games.
"Gandhi, popularly known as RG, has instilled confidence in the youth and he is the motivational factor who can set standards for youth. That is probably the main reason why the youth see him as their idol and inspiration."
India is not just the world's largest democracy, but also India has the youngest youth population among its 1.17 billion citizens, with over 60 per cent in the age group of 18-45 years. Hence the reason to limit the choices in survey to the youth.
Following Aamir Khan, among actors, is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with 18 per cent, Shah Rukh Khan with 12 per cent and and Ranbir Kapoor with 6 per cent.
Among sportspersons, while Tendulkar tops the list, others selected are badminton ace Saina Nehwal, who is also the youngest face of the icons, chess champion Viswanathan Anand and Olympics shooting icon Abhinav Bindra.
Among the list of politicians, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot came right after Rahul Gandhi, followed by Minister of State for Commerce Jyotiraditya Scindia and Minister of State for Petroleum Jitin Prasada.
The survey also highlighted the city with the best potential to organise the Games 2010, with Bangalore the top choice with 75 per cent, followed by Ahmedabad with 70 per cent, Bhubaneshwar with 55 per cent and Chandigarh with 33 per cent.
The Tata group, India's largest industrial house, was chosen as the best corporate house that could have associated itself with the Games with 60 per cent votes, followed by Reliance with 18 per cent, Jindal Group with 15 per cent and DLF with 7 per cent.