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Row during launch of book on Rafale deal in Chennai

In 2016, the Narendra Modi government signed a Rs 59,000-crore deal with French firm, Dassault Aviation, for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets to be supplied in flyaway condition starting September. The Congress-led opposition alleged malfeasance in the deal.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 03, 2019 12:19 IST
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Dassault Aviation,Rafale deal,Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer
French aircraft Rafale manoeuvres during AERO India 2019 air show at Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru.(PTI Photo)

The Chennai City Police and Flying Squad of the Election Commission (EC) seized 147 copies of a Tamil book on the alleged irregularities in the Rafale jet deal, ahead of its launch on Tuesday, on account of a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

In 2016, the Narendra Modi government signed a Rs 59,000-crore deal with French firm, Dassault Aviation, for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets to be supplied in flyaway condition starting September. The Congress-led opposition alleged malfeasance in the deal.

The book was eventually released, with N Ram, chairman of The Hindu Publishing Group in attendance. The seized copies too, were returned at night.

Election Commission officials and policemen seized the books from the office of publishers Bharathi Puthagalayam in Teynampet. Manager Nagaraj said, “The book is a compilation of material available in the public domain on the Rafale scam. It is written by S Vijayan.”

Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahu clarified that the EC had not ordered the seizure of the book nor banned its release. The District Election Officer will file a report.

City Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan said, “The seized copies of the book have been returned and the book release event too, was held without any issues.”

First Published: Apr 03, 2019 00:18 IST