Even as it hesitated to intervene in the auction of Gandhi memorabilia in New York,the Government was well aware that considering the timing of the auction,it was left with very few options. With elections around the corner,it clearly could not be seen doing nothing for Gandhis legacy. What is not known is that it initially decided to bring back only two of the five items on auction. The idea was to ensure that the Government was not perceived wrongly while at the same time sending out the message to other prospective auctioneers that it did not encourage such practices. However,with the purported owner playing tough and questioning the Governments sincerity on Gandhis philosophy,the Government realised that half measures would not be enough. Subsequently,all the items were bought by Vijay Mallya.