Book on Rafale deal seized; handed over later

Book on Rafale deal seized; handed over later

Rafale fighter jet

Till about 1 pm on Tuesday, not many in Chennai knew that a book on the Rafale deal would be released. But by Tuesday evening, the book release became headlines on all Tamil television channels and even English news channels lapped it up.

The credit goes to the flying squad of the Election Commission of India (ECI), which seized copies of the book from the office of its publishers and handed it over to the police. The ECI officials also said the book cannot be released since it violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

The book ‘Rafale scam that shook the nation’ by S Vijayan was released as scheduled by veteran journalist N Ram on Tuesday evening after the ECI said it would not amount to a violation of MCC.

Much before its release, the book, that talks about the alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal, was shared widely in PDF format on WhatsApp and other social media sites.

The reported ban on the event was a much debated and discussed topic on social media for about five hours, with many seeking to know why a book on Rafale cannot be launched while a movie on Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be screened.

The dramatic developments that began with the seizure of the books ended after Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo cleared its launch. Sahoo said neither the Election Commission of India (ECI) nor his office had ordered the seizure of the books from the publication house.

“I have directed the District Election Officer to inquire into the incident and submit a report immediately,” Sahoo told reporters, adding that there was no bar on the release of the book.