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Will Sonia's book see the light of the day?

Indian publisher Roli Books said that it intends to bring out the English translation of the book El Sari Rojo on Congress president Sonia Gandhi's life by the end of this year but was not sure if it will be able to publish the book due to the raging controversy.

books Updated: Jun 07, 2010 20:50 IST

Indian publisher Roli Books said on Monday that it intends to bring out the English translation of the book "El Sari Rojo" on Congress president Sonia Gandhi's life by the end of this year but was not sure if it will be able to publish the book due to the raging controversy.

"We are yet to schedule the book, but if all goes well than it should be ready by the end of this year," Nandita Bhardwaj, editor, Roli Books, told IANS.

Referring to the controversy over the book, which deals with Sonia Gandhi's life, Nandita Bhardwaj said there was some ambivalence in bringing out the book.

"We are still ambivalent whether we shall be able to publish it at all with the controversy that is raging," she said.

Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi, who is handling legal matters for Sonia Gandhi, has sent a legal notice to the Spanish writer Javier Moro, asking him to substantiate the contents of the book.

Singhvi, who sent the notice more than six months back, said: "We have given more than 20 examples from the book and challenged him to substantiate even one."

The book, translated into Italian, French and Dutch, deals with Sonia Gandhi's origins in Italy, her meeting Rajiv Gandhi and their marriage, the difficulties she faced after his assassination and her entry into politics.

"His (Moro's) silence is deafening and eloquent. If he cannot substantiate hundreds of pages and thousands of lines which are in inverted commas in first person, of which he has no personal knowledge, no documents and it impairs reputation of any person, then it is clearly defamation," said Singhvi.

Moro, on the other hand, has threatened to sue Singhvi.

Singhvi said if anything impairs the reputation of a living person, it has to be either factual or written with that person's consent.

Singhvi said Moro had about five months ago agreed to a disclaimer at his request in the book saying that the book lacked Sonia Gandhi's authorization.

"But perhaps (due to) his greed for commercial benefit, at the last minute, he backed out because he did not want any limitation on exploitation of this work in other media forms," Singhvi claimed.