Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: After creating the furore over its report which claimed that Sonia Gandhi is the 12th richest political leader in the world, the Huffington Post World has now removed the Congress president`s name from the list of rich world leaders.
The Huffington Post report now carries a footnote at the bottom of the article, stating: "Sonia Gandhi and the former emir of Qatar Hamid bin Khalifa al-Thani have been removed from this list. Gandhi was originally included based on a listing on a third party site which was subsequently called into question. Our editors have been unable to verify the amount, removed the link, and regret any confusion."
The website of Huffington Post World had published a report claiming that Sonia Gandhi has USD 2 billion wealth, and is richer than Britain`s Queen Elizabeth II and Syria President Bashar al-Assad.
The report did not mention how it arrived at this conclusion.
Based on available data, the HuffPost World came up with a list of the 20 richest world leaders currently in power.
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, tops the list with riches worth USD 40 billion, followed by Bhumibol Adulyadej, the king of Thailand, and Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei.
Notably, Gandhi, while filing her nomination for the Lok Sabha election in 2009, had declared that she owns neither a car nor a house in India. However, she had mentioned owning an ancestral home in Italy valued at Rs 18.02 lakhs.
Sonia Gandhi`s assets, according to the affidavit, totalled Rs 1.38 crore, nearly Rs 1 crore less than what her son Rahul Gandhi reportedly had.
Sonia Gandhi`s affidavit says that she had Rs 75,000 in cash and Rs 28.61 lakh in bank deposits.
In addition, she had mutual funds worth about Rs 20 lakh and Rs12 lakh in Reserve Bank of India bonds.
A sum of Rs 199,000 was deposited in post offices and Rs 24.88 lakh with the Public Provident Fund.
Sonia Gandhi`s jewellery, weighing about 2.5 kg, was valued at Rs 11 lakh while 88 kg of silver possessed by her was stated to be worth about Rs 18 lakh.
She owns two plots of agricultural land totalling up to about 15 bighas and valued at Rs 219,000. Their location is not mentioned in the affidavit.
Sonia Gandhi paid Rs 558,000 in income tax for the assessment year 2008-09 and Rs 32,512 in wealth tax.