New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to put his controversial monogrammed suit on the block came under attack today with Congress demanding an immediate halt to it and NCP taking a swipe that the dress was being auctioned "with Prime Minister's prestige".
Modi has made "mockery of the poor people in the country" by the pinstripe monogrammed bandhgala suit that he wore during US President Barack Obama's visit to India last month, Congress general Secretary Ajay Maken told reporters.
Claiming that the Prime Minister's action of wearing the suit has come under all-round condemnation, Maken said that Modi was now on a "damage control" exercise through its auction "like that of the IPL players."
Maken wanted the government to stop the auction of the suit immediately and hand it over to the treasury for its proper evaluation and upkeep.
Wondering "how can a Prime Minister accept a gift worth Rs.10 lakh," he alleged this was "violative" of the code of conduct prescribed for ministers who are barred from accepting gifts of more than the value of Rs 5,000.
"The whole thing smacks of arrogance and auctioning the Prime Minister's Rs 10 lakh suit is an insult to the poor people of India," he said.
"This is happening three weeks after the suit was worn by Modi... This is a damage control exercise. Damage control of his reputation," Maken said.
NCP spokesman D P Tripathi was more scathing. "The suit is being auctioned with the Prime Minister's prestige. He should not have wore it", he said.
The reaction of Congress and NCP came soon after a Surat-based textile businessman, Rajesh Juneja, bid a whopping Rs 1.21 crore for the suit at the three-day auction which opened today.