Surat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monogrammed bandhgala suit that had kicked up a political storm was today sold off for Rs 4.31 crore at an auction that saw a scramble among the bidders on the final day for the two-piece ensemble.
The pin-striped navyblue suit that Modi wore for his Summit meeting with US President Barack Obama on 25 January, went to Surat-based diamond trader Lalji Patel and his son after intense bidding in the dying moments of the auction.
"The suit has been purchased for Rs 4.31 crore by Dharmananda Diamond Company's Lalji Patel and his son Hitesh Patel," District Collector Rajendra Kumar announced at the close of the 3-day auction at 5 pm.
Chaos prevailed in the last one hour of the auction and bids flew thick and fast for the suit, which according to reports, was worth Rs 10 lakh. No base price was fixed for the auction of the suit.
The opening bid for the suit with Modi's name in full-- Narendra Damodardas Modi-- vertically embroidered on the fabric to look like golden pinstripes was Rs 11 lakh on Wednesday.
District Collector Rajendra Kumar said some bids, including one of Rs five crore, were received after the 5 pm deadline and were disallowed.
An elated Lalji Patel told reporters he wanted to do something for the country and the auction gave him a chance for that.
"I always wanted to do something in the interest of country. This event gave me a chance to do some thing in national interest. I never thought that this incredible suit will come to me," he said.
"All of them had a desire to purchase this suit. They had a good intention that money they are spending will go for the "Clean Ganga Mission'. I also made the bid with the same intention," added Patel.
His son Hitesh said his family has a "special relation" with the Ganga which made them shell out the money.
"Every year we spend 10-15 days on the banks of Ganga, especially at Rishikesh. So we have a special, spiritual and auspicious relation with the river," Hitesh Patel told PTI.
"We made a bid of Rs 4,31,31,000 for the suit as the money will go for cleaning the Ganga. We never thought that we will get the suit for so little," he said, adding he would get the attire altered and wear it before putting it on display at the reception area of the family firm 'Dharmanand Diamonds'.
With PTI inputs
Updated Date: Feb 21, 2015 11:26:53 IST