Over 1-Crore Bid for PM's Suit, Congress Challenges the Auction

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People watch PM Modi's pinstripe monogrammed bandhgala suit as it went for an auction, in Surat on Wednesday. (Press Trust of India)


New Delhi: 

A businessman has bid a  crore for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suit which fashioned a huge controversy because its gold-coloured pinstripes are actually made up of the letters of his name.

The navy bandhgala suit, worn by the Prime Minister for last month's meeting in Delhi with President Barack Obama, is the star item of an auction in Gujarat, which is the PM's home state. Nearly 450 items, all of them gifted to the PM since he took office, are being sold to raise funds for Mr Modi's initiative to clean the Ganga.

"People are very generous in this area and we hope that it will raise a lot of money for a good cause," said Milind Torawane, the municipal commissioner of Surat, the port city where the auction is being held. He said the goal is to raise about Rs 3 crore from the sale of the PM's suit. The offer of Rs 1.2 crore has been made by an NRI entrepreneur originally from Gujarat.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has said the suit cost Rs 10 lakh and exposes the PM as a leader disconnected from the millions who live in abject poverty in India. The BJP has contested Mr Gandhi's estimate but the Congress' Ajay Maken said today, "We got the price tag from social media and the fact that PM's name is written all over shows megalomania." He added, "The Prime Minister has made a mockery of the poor by wearing a suit like this and this shows how egotistic the person is."

Mr Maken also said that the auction of the suit is problematic. "It's against the rules. Let me read out the rules. A minister cannot accept any gift other than a close relative and if it's a costly gift, it should be deposited in the toshakhana (government treasury). Only then the government can decide what to do with such a gift," he said.



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