Prime Minister Narendra Modi's controversial pinstripe monogrammed bandhgala suit that he wore during US President Barack...
Bidding for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pinstripe monogrammed suit intensified today with a diamond trader offering Rs 1.41 crore, the highest so far, on the second day of the auction.
Two bids of Rs 1.41 crore and Rs 1.39 crore were received this afternoon in quick succession for the suit that Modi wore during US President Barack Obama’s India visit last month, eclipsing the earlier offer of Rs 1.25 crore made this morning.
Bhavnagar-based Ship-breaker and diamond trader Komalkant Sharma, who is CMD of Leela Group of Companies, has offered Rs 1.41 crore for the two-piece suit, which according to some reports cost nearly Rs 10 lakh.
“He (Sharma) has bid for Modi suit as it is for the good cause of ‘Clean Ganga Mission’. He will be here tomorrow and, if necessary, he will increase the bid amount,” Sharma’s representative Chirag Mehta, who had come to submit the written bid, told PTI.
Few minutes prior to that, Surat-based diamond trader Mukesh Patel had made a bid of Rs 1.39 crore.
“There are many items but I preferred Modi suit. I will keep that incredible suit like a diamond,” Patel said, adding that he was inspired by by the Prime Minister’s ‘Clean Ganga Mission’.
“When Narendrabhai was chief minister of Gujarat, he held such auctions for education of the girl child. Now, he is Prime Minister and he is making an appeal to clean Ganga. That is the reason that I made this bid,” Patel said.
Earlier in the day, the auction of Narendra Modi’s controversial pinstripe suit had received a fresh bid of Rs 1.25 crore from a textile trader here.
Surat-based Rajesh Maheshwari, who has established a Global Modi Fan Club, made the offer of Rs 1.25 crore, Rs four lakh more than the highest bid on the first day, which ended at Rs 1.21 crore.
A Surat-based textile businessmen bid a whopping Rs 1.21 crore in an auction today for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s controversial pinstripe monogrammed bandhgala suit that he wore during US President Barack Obama’s visit to India last month.
Up for auction were also two T-shirts of Narendra Modi including one gifted to him by Cricket Australia during his visit to Australia in November. The T-shirts were among 237 clothes and textiles items put for auction.
In all, 455 items that Narendra Modi had received as gifts during his nearly nine-month long tenure have been put for auction to generate funds for the Prime Minister’s ambitious ‘Clean Ganga Mission’.
Rajesh Juneja gave a written bid offering Rs 1.21 crore for Narendra Modi’s navy blue suit which was the star attraction at the three-day auction which opened today. Some reports said the suit had cost nearly Rs 10 lakh.
Juneja, who emerged as the highest bidder for the suit on day one, said, “I like Narendra Modi’s hardwork, confidence and that is why he is my role model. I want to keep the suit as a souvenir. If the bid goes up a little further, I will match it. But if it goes up steeply, then I will think about proceeding further”.
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Earlier, NRI businessmen Viral Chowksi offered Rs 1.11 crore, while before him textile trader Suresh Aggarwal made an offer of Rs one crore for the two-piece suit.
The first bid was made for Rs 11 lakh by a Surat-based chartered accountant Pankaj, while few minutes later, second bid of Rs 51 lakh was made by Raju Agarwal, an estate dealer.
“I have offered Rs.one crore. This is work of charity and when the Prime Minister is doing for a great cause like cleaning of Ganga, I decided to go ahead and buy the suit,” said Suresh Aggarwal.
Giving a new dimension to the controversy, NRI Gujarati businessman Ramesh B Virani, who had participated in the Gujarat Vibrant Summit, said he had gifted the suit to Modi when had he gone to invite the Prime Minister for his son’s wedding.
“At that time, he (Modi) told me that he has a very busy schedule ahead and also that he will be donating the suit. I said there is no problem with that. I told him that I want him to wear the suit on the day of my son’s wedding as a blessing,” he said.
The suit created waves and also kicked up a political storm with Opposition parties like Congress taking a swipe at the Prime Minister.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suit, that he wore during his meeting with President Barack Obama last month, along with other 455 items that he received as gifts during his tenure as Prime Minister is being auctioned at the three-day event,” said Surat Municipal Commissioner Milind Toravane.
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.
Check out tweets on Modi suit auction: #ModiSuit Tweets
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 in the city.
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.
He 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.
Photographs of the suit on a closer inspection showed that the stripes were actually 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”.
Toravane said no base price has been fixed for any of the items to come under the hammer.
Cost 67 seats. MT @rahulkanwal: Bids for Modi suit have already hit Rs 1.21 crore. This suit could well be the costliest in human history.
— Mihir Sharma (@mihirssharma) February 18, 2015
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi also had raked up the issue of Modi’s expensive suit during the campaign for Delhi assembly polls in which BJP was routed. He had said the suit cost Rs.10 lakh and exposed the PM as a leader disconnected from the millions who live in abject poverty in the country.
Discussions 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 coursed through social media, even attracting global media attention.
Tweets flew thick and fast, including comparison 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.
“The PM made a mockery of the poor by wearing a suit like this…It showed how egotistic this person is,” he said.
“First, how can such an expensive gift be called a private gift? What exactly in return does the person gifting this expect? Secondly, there are rules and norms laid down in the statute over how gifts are to be disposed off. The Prime Minister cannot decide to just auction off the gift, nor can he decide where the proceeds of the auctions may be given. The statute states that the amount must go down to the government depository,” he said.
At the end of three days, the highest bidder will take away the navy blue suit. The suit was tailored by Jade Blue in Ahmedabad, the clothing chain that handles the Prime Minister’s wardrobe.
Surat City Collector Rajendra Kumar said the bidding will be closed on February 20 at 5 pm.