At the ongoing online auction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mementos, objects up for sale range from conches and tridents to memorabilia from the Commonwealth Games.
Of the 53 bids made at this auction so far, a statue of “Thambi”, the official logo of the recent Chess Olympiad held in Chennai, is among the most sought-after items. A T-shirt with an autograph of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Gold medallist Manish Narwal — whose base price was Rs 10 lakh — saw the most expensive bid yet at Rs 13.20 lakh.
The online auction of over 1,200 items, which had been gifted to PM Modi, is being conducted through the web portal – pmmementos.gov.in – that will continue till October 2. The items lined up at this e-auction include paintings, sculptures, handicrafts and folk artefacts.
A model statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has received four bids so far, the highest being Rs 6.15 lakh. Its base price was Rs 5 lakh.
Another item at the auction is a detailed replica of the National Police Memorial, also with a base price of Rs 5 lakh. It has received two bids, one of which went up to Rs 5.65 lakh. A life membership card presented by the National Cadet Corps Alumni Association to the PM has received 29 bids. Starting at a base price of Rs 1,100, the card bid went up to Rs 23,000.
Also at auction are the memorabilia presented to the PM by teams and winners of sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games 2022, the Deaflympics 2022 and Thomas Cup Championship 2022. The 25 sports memorabilia part of the auction have high base prices starting at a few lakhs, which have received a lukewarm response from the bidders.
Along with Narwal’s autographed T-shirt, a red-coloured table tennis racket signed by 2022 Commonwealth Games 2022 gold medalist Bhavina Patel has received three bids. Another T shirt signed by the women’s hockey team from the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with a base price of Rs 2.4 lakh, has not gotten any bids until now.
Other PM mementos at the auction include replicas and models of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya and the Kashi-Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi.
Among the items that are yet to receive bids are a coloured portrait of the PM by Ram Kumar Prajapati (base price of Rs 48,600); a watercolour painting of the PM by Vandana Srinivasan from Girinagar (base price Rs 1600); pieces of angavastram or stole cloth, framed posters of several events, and several other sculptures and portraits of the PM.
In September 2021, a similar e-auction of PM mementos was held with 1,348 items. Olympian Neeraj Chopra’s javelin was the highest in terms of the bidding value then, at Rs 1.5 crore, followed by the autographed fence of fencer Bhavani Devi, which sold at Rs 1.25 crore.
Chopra had presented one of his javelins to Modi when the PM hosted Indian athletes after the Tokyo Games. It was later reported that the winning bid of Rs 1.5 crore for Chopra’s javelin was made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The BCCI had also bought an angavastram signed by the 2020 Indian Paralympic contingent for Rs 1 crore then.