`Sonia Gandhi richer than Queen Elizabeth`

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is the 12th richest political leader in the world, says a report in Huffington Post World.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi is the 12th richest political leader in the world, says a report in Huffington Post World.

The website of Huffington Post World has published a report claiming that Sonia Gandhi is richer than Britain`s Queen Elizabeth II and Syria President Bashar al-Assad.

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.

The Indian Congress leader is followed by Albert II, the Prince of Monaco, who is worth USD 1 billion. Qaboos bin Said, the Sultan of Oman, and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of Equatorial Guinea, are next on the list.

Syria`s President Bashar al-Assad is 16th on the list with riches worth USD 550 million. And Elizabeth II, the Queen of England, ranks 18th in the list with riches worth USD 400 million to USD 500 million.

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.

However, the report in Huffington Post World claims Sonia Gandhi has USD 2 billion wealth.

The report does not mention how it arrived at this conclusion.

Based on available data, the HuffPost World has come up with a list of the 20 richest world leaders currently in power. The list includes kings, presidents, sultans and queens. Most are male. The Middle East is the richest region as seven in the list of 20 come from there, according to the report.

For comparison, each country`s GDP per capita is juxtaposed with a leader`s personal net worth, just to show how different life is for the haves and have-nots, says the website.

(With Agency inputs)

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