Ahmedabad: The monogrammed suit, donned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting with US President Barack Obama last year that landed the PM and his government with the infamous tag of “suit boot ki sarkar” by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, has entered the Guinness World Records as “the most expensive suit sold at auction”.
The two-piece bandhgala suit of Prime Minister Modi with his full name vertically embroidered on the fabric multiple times to resemble golden pinstripes, was sold at an auction for Rs..4.31 crore in Surat last year, making it the most expensive suit ever auctioned.
The suit was the subject of much debate in India and made headlines overseas as well as rival political parties had mocked it as an example of narcissism and extravagance in a country where many live in severe poverty.
It was bought by Laljibhai Tulsibai Patel a diamond merchant who made the winning bid. Patel, who is chairman of Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt. Ltd with annual revenue of about Rs.6,000 crore, is also the promoter of Diamond Aeronautics, a private airline operator he owns with two other diamond merchants.
“It is a matter of happiness and pride that the suit has found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. We had applied for the world record around five months back on the suggestion of our company’s HR management team. Within a couple of months, we received a certificate acknowledging that it was the world’s most expensive suit sold at an auction,” Hitesh Patel, son of Laljibhai, was quoted as saying in a PTI report on 20 August.
The suit was reportedly prepared at a cost of Rs.10 lakh and the bidding started from Rs.11 lakh. Patel has put the suit in a glass cabin at the reception area of his sprawling premises in Surat for visitors to see.
Proceeds from the auction, held in the Surat Municipal Corporation’s Science Convention Centre last year in February, would go towards the Clean Ganga project. Apart from the suit, there were about 450 other things that were sold at the auction including a replica of Nepal’s Pashupatinath temple and a replica of the Statue of Liberty, both of which received bids of over Rs.1 crore.