New Delhi: The Congress party on Wednesday raised objections to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monogrammed suit being called a 'private' gift and alleged that the latter was auctioning it in 'damage control mode'.
"Last month, the Prime Minister wore a suit worth Rs. 10 lakhs, in which all through the suit his name was written, when he met US President Barack Obama. This move was criticised throughout the world. It seems like in damage control mode, the Prime Minister has decided to auction the suit," Congress leader Ajay Maken told ANI.
"This raises very important questions which I think the Prime Minister or the BJP needs to answer. How can it be called a 'private' gift? It is being given to the Prime Minister of the country," he added.
Maken also stated the rules stipulate that the country's Prime Minister cannot hold such an auction, also questioning the motives of Rameshkumar Bhikabhai Virani, the man who gave the suit to Prime Minister Modi.
"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.
Virani had earlier in an exclusive interview with ANI said that he had presented the suit to Prime Minister Modi while extending an invitation for his son's wedding on January 26. Virani also stated that the Prime Minister had told him that the suit would be auctioned, with the proceeds to be sent to a Ganga-related charity.