Auction of gifts to PM fetches highest bid of Rs. 5 lakh

New Delhi (IANS) The second day of the auction of gifts to Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed a wooden bike and a painting being sold at the highest bid of Rs. 5 lakh each against their base price of Rs. 40,000 and 50,000, respectively, a government statement said on Monday.

"Monday was the last day of the physical auction. From Tuesday, e-auction of the gift items will start on the portal which will continue till January 31," the culture ministry said in a release. 

Around 1,800 mementos gifted to Narendra Modi since 2014 went under the hammer at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here on Sunday. The amount raised by the auction will be utilized for the Namami Gange Project.

Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma interacted with the bidders and thanked them for showing incredible support for the noble cause of 'Namami Gange'. 

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision is highly revered and his noble initiative to create funds for cleaning Ganga has been welcomed by all quarters of the society," Sharma said.

A memento of the Golden Temple received by Modi was auctioned at Rs. 3.5 lakh, against its base price of Rs. 10,000.

A photo frame of the Ashtamangalam with a base price of Rs.1,500 was sold for Rs. 28,000.

"One of the bidders, Suman Jain, purchased the memento of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan not just to support the noble charitable cause but also to show her support towards Modi's vision. 

"Another participant at the auction, Pramila Gupta, purchased the memento of Daksheshwara Temple as she is an ardent follower of the teachings associated with the temple," the release said.

The second day also witnessed higher bids which included a metallic sword sold for Rs. 1 lakh against its base price of Rs. 5,000. Also, the statue of Mahatma Basaveshwara was auctioned at Rs. 70,000 against its base price of Rs. 10,000.

Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan and Member of Parliament Udit Raj were also present at the auction, among others from the art and culture fraternity.

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