New Delhi, Mar. 6 (ANI): The UPA Government has taken credit for bringing the belongings of Mahatma Gandhi back in the country by saying, "this is the victory of the UPA Government."
"Dr Mallya's representative was in constant touch with us. He bought the items in conjunction with the government. We were working on several options to get the items back. This is a victory for the UPA government," Tourism Minister Ambika Soni said.
Mahatma Gandhi's five personal objects, including the iconic round eye-glasses, were bought by Indian liquor baron VJ Mallya for 1.8 million dollars.
However, Soni said, "There might be slight delay in bringing the items back in the country."
The controversial auction has gone ahead in New York, despite protests from India, and the United States-based owner James Otis' last-minute attempt to halt it.
Finally, Gandhi's belongings were bought by Mallya for 1.8 million dollars, who said he was "bidding for the country and plans to return them to Indian Government."
Mallya's move came as a total surprise as his name was never mentioned among those who might bid for the items.
Auctioned items included Gandhi's iconic round glasses, a pocket watch, leather sandals, plate and bowl for sale.
Otis decided to withdraw from the auction only after bidding had begun.
New York based Antiquorum auction house said it will not finalize the sale for two weeks to allow any legal issues to be resolved.
"The items would be kept with the Auctioneer for two weeks to resolve any claims," a spokesperson for Antiquorum Auctioneers said. (ANI)