The Election Commission officials, today, blocked the release of a book on the Rafale defence deal in Chennai, citing the model code of conduct in place since the general election schedule was announced last month.
The book was supposed to be released by N Ram, a senior journalist who is the Chairman of The Hindu, and who has himself authored multiple news reports on the deal for French-made fighter jets.
The publisher of S Vijayan’s “Rafale: The Scam That Rocked The Nation” had asked for permission to release the book at a school. But the school said no, citing the Election Commission’s objection.
Then, when the publisher, Bharati Publication, decided to organise the event in its office, poll officials came and seized the books. A flying squad of election officers and the Teynampet police confiscated 142 copies.
An editor at BharatiPublication PK Rajan strongly condemned the EC action stating totally unfair. He said that the book was a consolidation of information in the public domain.
N Ram deplored that the ban was anti-democratic and illegal, and that it amounted to curbing the freedom of speech and of the press. He said the book’s release did not violate the model code of conduct, and vowed to get it released by going to court.