With a pall of gloom enveloping the state after the sad demise of Chief Minister YS. Rajasekhara Reddy, the usual enthusiasm marking the laddu auction by Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samithi was missing on Thursday, the day of the Ganesh immersion.

The auction fetched Rs. 5.1 lakh, an increase of Rs. 4,000 over last year's price (the laddu was auctioned for Rs. 5.07 lakh last year).

This year, the much coveted laddu went to Ms. G. Sunitha, a resident of Vanasthalipuram who runs a real estate business. The laddu is presumed to bring prosperity to the successful bidder. It is a practice by the Samithi to spend the auction amount on welfare and developmental activities in Balapur village.

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