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PM’s gifts worth Rs 93,42,350 to be auctioned

NEW DELHI: Gifts presented to PM Narendra Modi in the last nine months worth Rs 93,42,350 will be auctioned at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) by the culture ministry on Saturday, proceeds of which will go to the Namami Gange programme.

Officials pointed out that, the highlight of the gifts this time, is over 35 portraits of him presented or sent to him by his admirers.

Some of them are with his mother while some show him with Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, while a few also feature him wearing different headgear during his visits to States. These portraits are made on silk, wool, mirror and even a gold plate, while some have been made by artists with stencils, intricate forms of weaving and even sketch pens.

The auction will also include other gifts such as cow figurines, idols of swami Vivekananda gifted to the PM, many of which carry a wish for 2019 election or a congratulatory message for his stance against Pakistan, or a thank you message for his schemes.

The gifts also include idols of lords Krishna, Shiva and Balaji gifted to him by Mathura MP Hema Malini, former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Reddy, apart from a painting of Jat leader Chotu Ram gifted by former minister Birender Singh.

A separate corner at NGMA has been dedicated to gifts the PM received from Assam which are significantly high in number. There are also madhubani and pichwai paintings, Aranmula mirrors from Karnataka, figurines of Maharana Pratap and Shivaji, bow and arrow sets from Ramlila events and an embellished image of the google doodle dedicated to Make in India.

The culture ministry that has urged all its departments to ensure the event is successful. According to officials, a to-do check list has already been sent to NIC that will run the website, the department of posts for packaging and delivery, IGNCA for visual images of the auction, NGMA to run a helpline for customers and SBI to provide the banking service.

According to officials, in all 576 shawls, 964 anga vastram, 88 pagris, will also be displayed. The lowest basis price of these mementos is Rs 200 while the highest can go upto Rs 2.5 lakh, officials said. The first such auction was held in January when a handcrafted wooden bike had fetched Rs 5 lakhs.

Ritu Sharma, Director, NGMA said this time, the focus was on auction of gifts sent to PM from common people. “Last time, we largely had buyers from NCR. This time we expect to have buyers from across the country.”

Source: Economic Times