He is a co-owner of Diamond Aeronautics, a private airline launched in October 2014 with three executive jets and a helicopter connecting Surat with other important cities. The suit was the star attraction among 455 items that went under the hammer. The proceeds of the auction will go towards the Clean Ganga mission. The suit, which attracted global publicity, was designed by Ahmedabad-based designer Ramesh Kumar of Modi's regular tailor Jade Blue.
It has the name 'Narendra Damodardas Modi' weaved into it in glittering gold letters. The suit kicked up a political row with opposition parties accusing the prime minister of indulging in 'narcissism' and questioned how a 'tea-vendor' could afford the expensive suit, reportedly costing around Rs.1 million. At the three-day auction, it was put on a life-size mannequin resembling Modi, as the bidders examined it closely before announcing their bids. A majority of the bidders were leading diamond merchants, top business personalities and builders. The inaugural bid of Rs.51 lakh was made on the first day of the high-profile auction.
By Friday afternoon, the figures hovered around Rs.2.31 crore, but suddenly shot up as the closing deadline approached, with Patel's Rs.4.31 crore declared the highest. All the 455 items - which went on auction at the SMC Science Convention Centre - were gifted to Modi in India and abroad in the past nine months. They included one gold article, 13 silver, 46 brass-copper-metallic artefacts, 14 ceramic and glass items, 31 wooden articles, 99 picture frames, 237 clothes including T-shirts from Australia, and 14 miscellaneous items. Since his days as the Gujarat chief minister, Modi introduced the tradition to auction such gifts for various charities and had raised around Rs.95 crore in his 13 years in the saddle.