India fails to stop auction of Mahatma Gandhi belongings

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New Delhi, Mar 5 (ANI): The Indian government on Thursday rejected a proposal by the US collector to halt the controversial auction of Gandhi's iconic round glasses.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said India cannot enter into such agreements where it involves specific areas of allocation of resources.

"Gandhi himself would not have agreed to conditions. The government of India, representing the sovereign people of this republic, cannot enter into such agreements where it involves specific areas of allocation of resources," Sharma added.

The owner of Gandhi's belongings James Otis has put some conditions, and said he would donate the glasses, sandals and other Gandhi belongings in exchange for India boosting health spending for the poor and using the memorabilia in an international exhibition.

India, however, is not agreed with the conditions.

"I was sure that Otis is aware that New Delhi has policy initiatives with historic allocations of resources, particularly for rural health programs and the education of the poor, besides other pro-poor schemes," India's junior foreign minister said.

The collapse of the deal may force India to bid for the items, which also include a pocket watch and a bowl and plate.

For the cancellation of the items, Otis had proposed deal, which required India to substantially increase the proportion of the Indian government budget spent on health care for the poor during the next decade. (ANI)

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