Modi's uniquely monogrammed suit to be auctioned for charity

AP News
Posted: Feb 18, 2015 6:30 AM
Modi's uniquely monogrammed suit to be auctioned for charity

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dark suit with its unique monogram pinstripes went up for auction Wednesday in his home state of Gujarat, officials said.

The money raised in the three-day auction of the suit and hundreds of other gifts received by Modi will be used to clean up the heavily polluted Ganges River.

Modi wore the suit when President Barack Obama visited India last month. Photographs of the suit showing Modi's name monogrammed in dull gold stripes went viral on social media.

Opposition leaders attacked Modi for his extravagance in wearing a suit that was estimated to cost more than 1 million rupees ($16,000).

By Wednesday afternoon, the highest bid received for the suit was more than 11 million rupees ($177,000), officials said. The auction is scheduled to conclude on Friday.

Gujarat official Milind Toravane said the suit and other items were gifts received by Modi after he became prime minister in May. The gifts include decorative pieces in silver and brass, among other items.

During Modi's 2001-2014 stint as chief minister of Gujarat, the gifts he received were regularly auctioned off and the money collected used to fund programs for the education of girls in the state.

No base price had been set for the suit, Toravane said.