NEW DELHI(PTI): The government has raised about Rs 8.33 crore from the three-day auction of the items gifted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the money will be used to finance the Clean Ganga Mission, official sources said in Surat.
The administration has received 1,852 valid bids for the items, including Modi’s monogrammed suit, which went under the hammer for Rs 4.31 crore, sources said. “The approximate revenue generated from the auction of the gift items is Rs 8.33 crore. We will be able to give the final figure tomorrow since calculations are on,” Surat District Collector Rajendra Kumar told reporters. “During the three-day auction, we received 1,852 valid bids for all the items. Proceeds from the auction will go to the Clean Ganga Mission,” he said.
The highest bid of Rs 4.31 crore for Modi’s ‘bandhgala’ suit was made by a Surat-based diamond trader, Laljibhai Tulsibhai Patel. There were a total of 47 bids for the suit, the collector said.
Two other items which went for more than Rs 1 crore were a replica of the Pashupatinath Mandir, which was gifted to Modi during his visit to Nepal, and a replica of the Statue of Liberty, which is a gift he received during his visit to the USA, Kumar said. Both the items received bids of Rs 1.11 crore each, he said.
Surat-based diamond businessmen Lavji Badshah and his partner Jayanti Aklara made a joint bid of Rs 1,11,11,111 for the replica of the Statue of Liberty, he said. A bid worth the same amount was made for the Pashupatinath temple replica by Surat-based businessman Govind Dholakia, who runs Ramkrishna Exports, Kumar said, adding that a metal statue of Sardar Patel received a bid for Rs 50 lakh.
“Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel’s 361 gift items, which were also put up for auction, fetched an estimated Rs 40.58 lakh. We received 1,494 valid bids for the chief minister’s items,” he said. The winning bidders of the prime minister’s items have to submit cheques or demand drafts in the name of ‘Clean Ganga Fund’ by 5 P.M. tomorrow, the collector said. Those who won bids for the Gujarat chief minister’s articles would have to submit demand drafts or cheques in the name of the ‘Kanya Kelavani (Girlchild Education) Fund’ by the same deadline, he added.