The infamous suit Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wore when he met US President Barack Obama in India is to be sold at auction to raise money to clean the Ganges River.

The prime minister was mocked for narcissism after wearing the bespoke wool suit with the words "Narendra Damodardas Modi" woven into it in tiny letters when he met the Obama in New Delhi last month.

By Wednesday afternoon, the highest bid received for the suit was more than 11 million rupees ($177,000), officials said. The auction, being held in the city of Surat in Modi's home state of Gujarat, is scheduled to conclude on Friday.

Gujarat official Milind Toravane said that the suit along with more than 450 other gifts were received by Modi after he became prime minister in May. The gifts include decorative pieces in silver and brass, among other items.

"These items are gifts that the PM received since he took charge ... the items that will be auctioned include his pinstriped suit," Toravane, Surat municipal chief and organiser of the event, told the AFP news agency.

Toravane said no reserve had been set for the suit.

The money will go towards the clean-up of the Ganges, a pet project of Modi, who has described the pollution of the sacred river as a national shame.

It is not the first time Modi has auctioned off gifts for charity. When he was chief minister of Gujarat, he gave away some 18,000 items, raising more than $3m for girls' education.

Source: AFP