Suit worn by Modi enters Guinness World Records

AHMEDABAD • A suit worn by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which gathered worldwide fame for having his name embroidered all over it, has entered the Guinness World Records after selling for a record sum, Agence France-Presse reported.

Mr Modi attracted mockery on social media for the tailored pinstriped suit, which he wore to a meeting with United States President Barack Obama during his visit to India in January 2015.

When images of the Prime Minister were enlarged, it became clear that the subtle gold stripes on the suit were made up of the words "Narendra Damodardas Modi" woven in tiny letters.

The personalised suit, bought by diamond tycoon Laljibhai Patel in Gujarat last year for 43,131,311 rupees (about S$865,000), has now entered the record books as the most expensive sold at auction.

"The most expensive suit (clothing) sold at auction is Rs. (Rupees) 43,131,311... and was bought by Laljibhai Tulsibai Patel (India), in Surat, Gujarat, India, on 20 February 2015," said a statement on the Guinness World Records website.

The website said the proceeds from the auction were donated to the Namami Gange Fund, a project to clean up the heavily polluted Ganges River, which is considered sacred by Hindus.

The Gujarat-based tycoon had made a determined bid for the navy suit, having declared that "the sky's the limit".

Mr Patel told India's NDTV news that the suit would be displayed at his factory.

"It's a matter of pride that a suit worn by Narendra Modi will now be mine," he said.

The suit was among hundreds of other gifts received by Mr Modi since becoming Prime Minister that were auctioned.

The navy suit had been a political talking point after it was mocked by the leaders of opposition parties, who said it was a symbol of narcissism and extravagance in a country where many live in extreme poverty.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 21, 2016, with the headline 'Suit worn by Modi enters Guinness World Records'. Print Edition | Subscribe