Hyderabad's most popular 21-kg laddu, Balapur Ganesh, was auctioned on Sunday for a staggering Rs 18.90 lakh.

Abacus Overseas Education Private Limited COO Marri Shashank Reddy and YSR Congress MLC RV Ramesh Yadav from Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh, bid successfully for the 21-kg gold-coated laddu.

The bidding began at Rs 1,116 and within moments, it was auctioned for the highest-ever bid with hundreds of devotees cheering.
Ramesh Yadav called it a gift for YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

A number of politicians were present to witness the auction, including Telangana Education Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy and former MLA T Krishna Reddy.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in 2020, the Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samithi did not auction the laddu. Instead, it was presented to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.

A Balapur resident named Kolan Ram Reddy won the auction in 2019, when the laddu was sold for Rs.17.60 lakh. Reddy, the businessman and agriculturist, participated in the auction this year as well.

The laddu was auctioned for Rs 16.60 lakh in 2018.

Annually, the Ganesh immersion procession begins with the auction of the laddu in the village of Balapur, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The procession passes through several parts of the city on its way to Hussain Sagar lake, in the city centre.

As per Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samithi, which organizes the auction every year, the first auction took place in 1994, when the laddu was sold for Rs 450.

Kolanu Mohan Reddy won the first auction of the laddu in 1994 and went on to win the auctions for five years running. Having won the bid, he began to claim prosperity, making the laddu more popular.

The popularity of this sweet and its price have grown ever since. Each year, politicians and businessmen compete with each other to place the highest bid.

In addition to sharing pieces of laddu with family and friends, winners scatter the remnants in their fields, workplaces and homes.
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