HYDERABAD: The famed Balapur Laddu auction which attracts wide attention from two the Telugu states, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has fetched a whopping Rs 18.90 lakh in an open auction held on Sunday. This is Rs 1.30 lakh more than the previous auction held in 2019.
The Laddu was bagged by YSR Congress MLC RV Ramesh Yadav from Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh and his partner Marri Shashank Reddy of Abakar Overseas Education.
Last year, the auction was put off due to lockdown and spurt in large number of COVID-19 cases and the laddu was handed over to the Chief Minister, K Chandrasekhar Rao last year at Pragathi Bhavan by the members of Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samithi. Two years ago the laddu was auctioned for Rs 17.60 lakh and was bagged by Kolan Ram Reddy.
The laddu auction had clearly demonstrated that there is not much COVID-19 impact or economic slowdown, as the bidding amount has been increasing within a few lakh of rupees with each passing year, this was evident during the auctioning of the famed Balapur Laddu on Sunday.
The 21-kilogram laddu neatly packed in a two kilogram pure silver bowl covered with golden foil. As many as 25 bidders including those from Andhra Pradesh participated in the auction. The auction event was attended by several political leaders including Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy.
The open auction was conducted in the presence of large local crowds and many people gathered on the rooftops of the multi-storeyed apartments. The bidding for the laddu was conducted at the Balapur temple at around 10 am on Sunday and the exercise was completed in a span of 10 minutes.
The auction was organised under the aegis of Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samiti. The Samiti has been organising the auction for the last 27 year (1994). The starting price of the bidding was Rs 1,116.
The elated Ramesh Yadav said that it was a happiest moment for them for bagging the prestigious laddu. Lord Ganesh should bless both the Telugu states to live happily and with prosperity and hoped that Lord Ganesha would remove all the obstacles that come in the way.
The MLC member said that the Laddu will be presented as a gift to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
About 25 people registered their names to participate in the auction but of them seven were serious contenders and vied upto Rs 10 lakh and dropped one after the other and Ramesh Yadav along with partner Shashank Reddy stood fought hard to bag the laddu.
Though more amount could have been raised easily through the auction as bidders were ready to shell out more to bag the laddu, however, BGUS seems to have to keep a maximum ceiling of Rs one lakh for every year.
Since the last 4-5 years, it has been observed that after Rs one lakh increase, the committee is announcing the winner's name suddenly without giving a chance to other bidders.
The BGUS members said that the auction amount would be spent on the temple and village developments and welfare activities mainly towards the education sector. Balapur Laddu has got a specialty. People believe whoever might win it in the auction will have a great future with the blessings of Lord Ganesha.
The popularity of Laddu is increasing with each passing year. Believed to be sacred for the winner, Balapur Laddu has been the centre of attraction for the past two decades during Ganesh festivities. There is a belief among the people that the sacred laddu brings good luck and prosperity to the bidder who wins the auction, they added.
The samithi members told The New Indian Express that if the bidder is from outside Balapur village and bags the laddu, he or she has to pay the bid amount on the same day itself, if the winner is from Balapur village, he or she can pay the amount within a year. Ramesh Yadav who bagged the laddu issued a cheque to the Samithi members.
Meanwhile, the procession of the Balapur Ganesh idol has been underway after the auction amidst drumbeats and people are flocking onto roads to witness the huge rally of the idol in Hyderabad city roads. The procession covers a distance of 18 km to Hussainsagar where the immersion takes place.