Surat: Over Rs 8 crore has been raised from the three-day auction of the items gifted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the famous 'name-striped' suit alone fetching a staggering Rs 4.31 crore on Friday.
The money generated from the auction will go to Modi's ambitious 'Clean Ganga Mission'.
The navy blue suit with Modi's name in full -- Narendra Damodardas Modi-- embroidered on the fabric to look like golden stripes was among 455 items, which the PM had received as gift during his tenure as Prime Minister which were put up for sale during the 3-day auction by the Surat Municipal Corporation.
Diamond merchant Lalji Bhai Patel, chairman of the Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt Ltd of Surat bought the monogrammed bandhgala suit for the staggering amount.
The suit kicked up a political row with opposition parties accusing the prime minister of indulging in 'narcissism' and questioned how a 'tea-vendor' could afford the expensive suit, reportedly costing around Rs 1 million.
PM Modi Friday night appreciated all those who took part and contributed in the auction in Surat of his personalized pinstriped suit and other items and said proceeds from it would "add impetus" to efforts to clean the Ganges river.
The PM expressed his gratitude on Twitter:
Apart from the suit, a Cricket Australia T-shirt gifted to him by bowling great Brett Lee, idols of various gods, Mahatma Gandhi, a replica of the Father of the Nation's spectacles, shawls, turbans, besides several other artefacts were part of the auction.
Two photographs of Modi with his mother Heeraba were also there.
Since his days as the Gujarat chief minister, Modi introduced the tradition to auction such gifts for various charities and had raised around Rs 95 crore in his 13 years in the saddle.