Narendra Modi's controversial monogrammed bandhgala suit up for auction today

Surat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's controversial pinstripe monogrammed bandhgala suit that he wore during US President Barack Obama's visit to India last month is up for auction starting here today.

PM Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi

The suit that created waves and kicked up a political storm will be auctioned along with 455 items that Modi had received as gifts during his nearly nine-month long tenure to generate funds for the Prime Minister's ambitious 'Clean India Mission'.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suit, that he wore during his meeting with President Barack Obama last month, along with other 455 items that he received as gifts during his tenure as Prime Minister will be auctioned at a three-day event in Surat," Surat Municipal Commissioner Milind Toravane told PTI on Tuesday.

The gift items belonging to Prime Minister Modi is a national treasure and the money generated from the auction will be utilised for the 'Clean Ganga Mission', he added.

Toravane said the event will be organised at SMC's Science Convention Centre at city-lights road in Surat as the Prime Minister's Office(PMO) had decided to hold the auction event in the city. Modi during his chief ministerial tenure in Gujarat had initiated a trend to auction the gifts that he received in a year and it was donated to Kanya Kelavani Yojna for girl child education, he said.

Modi was photographed wearing the suit during his summit talks with Obama in Hyderabad House in Delhi on January 25 and at a joint media appearance that followed the meeting.

Photographs of the suit on a closer inspection showed that the stripes were actually tiny letters spelling out his name in full-- Narendra Damodardas Modi--and embroidered on the fabric vertically down the stripe.

The suit had triggered a debate in social media while the Prime Minister was slammed by his political opponents for wearing an expensive suit. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called Modi a "megalomaniac".

Toravane said no base price has been fixed for any of the items to come under the hammer. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi also had raked up the issue of Modi's expensive suit during the campaign for Delhi assembly polls in which BJP was routed. Some reports said the suit cost nearly Rs 10 lakh.

Discussions on whether the suit, which from a distance  appeared to be a classic navy blue pinstripe design, was fine style and good form or a thinly-disguised show of narcissism coursed through social media, even attracting global media attention.

Tweets flew thick and fast, including comparison with former Egypt President Hosni Mubarak who is known to have a similar outfit.

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