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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#OVERBLOWN: Huffington Post pulls Sonia Gandhi from list of World's Richest Leaders

The Huffington Post has removed Sonia Gandhi from a list of the world’s richest leaders saying the data used to compile the rankings was “questionable”.

The American digital news site estimated Mrs Gandhi’s wealth at $2 billion, making her wealthier than the Queen and Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, and nearly nine thousand times her officially declared wealth of $230,000.

In an editor's note, Huffington Post said: "Sonia Gandhi (has) been removed from this list.  (She) 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 site said that the aim of the list was to “juxtapose a leader’s personal net worth against each country’s GDP per capita to just show how different life is for the haves and have-nots”.

The article caused widespread anger in India with Mrs Gandhi’s supporters and detractors calling into question the manner in which the Huffington Post compiled the data.

One senior Congress minister responded the to the report, saying: "If Huffington Post would stick to huffing and puffing then I think they would do a much better job for themselves.

Because if you do put these absurd and ridiculous things out in print, then you only open yourself to be made a laughing stock. I would not even like to dignify with a response."

According to India’s National Election Watch website, Italian-born Mrs Gandhi Gandhi – the widow of former premier Rajiv Gandhi, the eldest grandson of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru – has total declared assets amounting to a mere $230,000. 

Among her assets, according to the website, are “2.5 kilograms of gold and nearly 90 kilograms of silver”.

She reportedly does not own a house or a car in India although it is widely rumoured that her actual wealth is far greater than declared.

Russian President Vladimir Putin topped the Huff Post list of the world’ richest leaders with a personal fortune estimated at “between $40 billion and $70 billion. 

Mr Putin was followed by Thai Monarch Bhumibol Adulyadej ($30 billion), the Sultan of Brunei ($20 billion), King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia ($18 billion) and UAE ruler Sheikh Khalifa ($15 billion) in the top five.

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