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Indian diamond trader buys Modi suit for $700,000

AHMEDABAD: A diamond trader from Narendra Modi’s home state on Friday won the bidding for the personalised pinstriped suit the Indian prime minister wore to meet Barack Obama, tendering nearly $700,000 at a charity auction.

The bespoke wool suit with the words “Narendra Damodardas Modi” woven into the pinstripe proved a hot ticket at the three-day auction, sparking a bidding war that pushed the price up to 43.1 million rupees ($692,000).

The suit was among more than 450 lots put up for auction by Modi in the city of Surat in his home state of Gujarat.

Modi has won a reputation as a fashion icon for his sometimes daring sartorial choices.

But wearing a suit with his own name on it was seen by many as a step too far, drawing accusations of narcissism — possibly the reason Modi decided to sell it off.

The money raised will go towards cleaning up the holy Ganges river — a pet project of India’s Hindu nationalist prime minister.

Winning bidder Lalji Patel, owner of the Dharmanandan diamond company, said he had wanted to do something for his country.

“Buying this suit was all I wanted. It feels good to know that the money will go towards the cleaning of the holy river,” he told reporters. -AFP

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