The Congress has reacted sharply to a Huffington Post report that described Congress president Sonia Gandhi as the 12th richest world leader, even ahead of Queen Elizabeth of Britain (at No 18) and Albert II Prince of Monaco (at No 13).
According to the international news website, Sonia Gandhi's worth is $2 billion (Rs 12,400 crore), while India's GDP per capita is $1,500.
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"If Huffington Post would stick to huffing puffing, then I think they would do a much better job for themselves. Because If you do put out 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," said Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari.
Curiously, the report puts Russian President Vladimir Putin on top, with $40 billion, followed by Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, while US President Barack Obama does not figure in the rankings.
"To put it in perspective, President Obama may be worth several million dollars, but he does not even come close to some of (his) contemporaries," it noted.
While no relevant data has been provided to explain the logic behind the ranking, Huffington Post said it had compiled a list of the 20-richest world leaders currently in power "based on available data".
It added, "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."
Seven of the 20 leaders figuring on the list are from West Asia; the website ascribed their wealth to "family connections, profitable investments and in some cases, corrupt rule".