NRI bids Rs1 crore for Modi's suit in auction to raise funds for Clean Ganga initiative
18 February 2015
A businessman has bid Rs1 crore for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suit, which caused a huge controversy as its gold-coloured pinstripes were actually made up of the letters of his name, NDTV reported.
The navy bandhgala, which Modi wore for last month's meeting in Delhi with president Barack Obama, was the star item in an auction in Gujarat, the PM's home state. Around 450 items, all of them gifted to the PM since his taking over the office, are being auctioned to raise funds for the government's Clean the Ganga initiative.
According to Milind Torawane, the municipal commissioner of Surat where the auction was being held, people were very generous in the area and they hoped that it would raise a lot of money for a good cause. The goal was to raise about Rs3 crore from the sale of the PM's suit. The offer of Rs1.2 crore had been made by an NRI entrepreneur originally from Gujarat, he added.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said the suit cost Rs10 lakh and exposed the PM as a leader disconnected from the masses who lived in abject poverty in India. Though the BJP had contested Gandhi's estimate Ajay Maken of the Congress today said, the party had got the price tag from social media and the fact that PM's name was written all over showed megalomania." He said the prime minister had made a mockery of the poor by wearing a suit like this and this showed how egotistic the person was.
Meanwhile, participating in the function to celebrate the elevation to sainthood of two great saints of Kerala - Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Saint Euphresia - Modi said his government would ensure that there was complete freedom of faith and that everyone had the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence, www.merinews.com reported.
Modi added the government would not allow any religious group, either from the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly. The government would give equal respect to all religions, he said.
India was the land of Buddha and Gandhi, he said, and added that respect for all religions was in the DNA of every Indian.
"We cannot accept violence against any religion on any pretext and I strongly condemn such violence. My government will act strongly in this regard," said Modi.