A booklet on the Rafale deal that an Election Commission "flying squad" seized in Chennai to stop its release has reportedly flown off the shelves. On Wednesday, copies of the booklet, "Rafale: The Scam That Shook the Nation", written by S Vijayan, were taken away by the poll squad from Bharathi Puthakalayam. It returned to the shelves a few hours after being seized. The bookstore and publishing house reportedly had links with a political party. The "flying squad" said the booklet violated the model code of conduct in place for the coming Lok Sabha election. The booklet, priced at Rs 15, compiled reports on the Rafale jet deal and allegations of corruption, including investigative reports by veteran journalist and the Hindu Publishing Group Chairman N Ram.
Staying top of mind
A former policeman with Rs 1.76 trillion in assets and a loan of Rs 4 trillion from the World Bank is contesting from the Perambur assembly constituency in Chennai. In the 2016 assembly polls, Mohanraj Jebamani, son of a freedom fighter and leader of the Jebamani Janatha Party, contested against M K Stalin and submitted that he had an estate in Kodanadu and a house in Gopalapuram, in the heart of Chennai, apart from some “2G spectrum assets” and Rs 3 trillion liability. Do these numbers sound familiar? Rs 1.76 trillion was the alleged loss to the state exchequer because of the 2G spectrum scam, and Rs 4 trillion is the estimated debt of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa's Kodanad estate. While the Election Commission has accepted his affidavit and allowed him to contest, Jebamani says winning elections is not his goal, keeping these figures alive in the mind of the voter is.
The countdown for the coming Lok Sabha election has begun and a marketing war of a different kind has taken over many shop shelves. While various party leaders are caught up in verbal fisticuffs, saree makers are making a killing, luring prospective buyers with “NaMo sarees” and “Priyanka & Rahul sarees”. While NaMo sarees have inundated shops in Gujarat, Priyanka (pictured), Rahul and Indira sarees were spotted in and around the national capital region. The Namo sarees caught attention with their interesting designs — that included images of the PM in a war setting and in the peace mode with Sardar Patel.