NRI offers Rs. 1.11 crore for Modi's Bandhgala suit

The controversial pinstriped suit has attracted massive offers from businessmen at an auction in Surat, where items gifted to the Prime Minister have gone under the hammer to raise funds for the Clean Ganga Mission.

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:16 pm IST

Published - February 18, 2015 01:17 am IST - Surat:

PM Narendra Modi wore a suit embroidered with his own name during his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama last month.

PM Narendra Modi wore a suit embroidered with his own name during his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama last month.

A whopping Rs 1.11 crore bid was made by a Gujrati NRI in an auction on Wednesday for the controversial pinstripe monogrammed bandhgala suit which Prime Minister Narendra Modi wore during United States President Barack Obama’s visit to India last month.

Viral Chowksi, the NRI made the offer at the three-day auction which commenced on Wednesday.

Another businessman Suresh Aggarwal made an offer of Rs. 1 crore for the suit. “I have offered Rs. 1 crore. This is work of charity and when the Prime Minister is doing for a great cause like the cleaning of the Ganga, I decided to go ahead and buy the suit,” he said.

Another Raju Aggarwal offered Rs. 51 lakh for the suit, saying it was for a noble cause.

The suit that created waves and kicked up a political storm will be auctioned along with 455 items that Mr. Modi had received as gifts during his nearly nine-month long tenure to generate funds for the Prime Minister’s ambitious ‘Clean Ganga RPT Ganga Mission’.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suit, that he wore during his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama last month, along with other 455 items that he received as gifts during his tenure as Prime Minister will be auctioned at a three-day event in Surat,” Surat Municipal Commissioner Milind Toravane told PTI.

The gift items belonging to Prime Minister Modi is a national treasure and the money generated from the auction will be utilised for the ‘Clean Ganga Mission’, he added.

The event was organised at SMC’s Science Convention Centre at city-lights road in Surat as the Prime Minister’s Office(PMO) had decided to hold the auction event in the city.

Mr. Modi during his chief ministerial tenure in Gujarat had initiated a trend to auction the gifts that he received in a year and it was donated to Kanya Kelavani Yojna for girl child education, he said.

The Prime Minister was photographed wearing the suit during his summit talks with Obama in Hyderabad House in Delhi on January 25 and at a joint media appearance that followed the meeting.

On closer inspection, photographs of the suit showed that each stripe was actually comprised of tiny letters spelling out his name in full — Narendra Damodardas Modi — and embroidered on the fabric vertically down the stripe.

The suit had triggered a debate in social media while the Prime Minister was slammed by his political opponents for wearing an expensive suit. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called Modi a “megalomaniac“.

Mr. Toravane said no base price has been fixed for any of the items to come under the hammer.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also had raked up the issue of Mr. Modi’s expensive suit during the campaign for Delhi assembly polls in which the Bharatiya Janata Party was routed. Some reports said the suit cost nearly Rs 10 lakh.

A debate on whether the suit, which from a distance appeared to be a classic navy blue pinstripe design, was fine style and good form or a thinly-disguised show of narcissism has coursed through the social media, even attracting global media attention.

Tweets flew thick and fast, including comparisons with former Egypt President Hosni Mubarak who is known to have a similar outfit.

Congress leader Ajay Maken said the auction was a “damage control” exercise by the Prime Minister, who was “widely criticised” for donning such a suit.

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