Returning Officer (RO), South Delhi district, Nidhi Srivastava Saturday issued a showcause notice to the JNU unit of the ABVP for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by organising a book launch on campus without taking permission. The event has now been cancelled, though the ABVP claims this had nothing to do with the notice.
The ABVP had planned to hold the launch of two books — #Modi Again by Aabhas Maldahiyar and Saffron Swords by Manoshi Sinha Rawal — on the campus on April 15. A poster was shared by the organisation on its official Facebook page on April 12. Both books have been published by Garuda Prakashan which, as per its website, believes in generating “Bharat-centric content impeccably”. Director Vivek Agnihotri’s book Urban Naxals was also published by Garuda Prakashan.
“We issued a showcause notice to Durgesh and Manish Jangid (ABVP JNU unit president and secretary respectively) on Saturday, saying the programme was a violation of the MCC and they cannot organise it. They responded to our notice saying the event had been cancelled,” Srivastava told The Indian Express.
Both Durgesh Kumar and Manish Jangid told The Indian Express that they cancelled the event on April 12 because the authors were unavailable. “They were not available for the given date so we cancelled it,” claimed Jangid. Asked if they knew it was an MCC violation, Jangid said, “These are public books.”
Kumar said, “We wrote to them saying it had been cancelled and that we were not aware it’s a violation.” However, he added, “It was an academic discussion… It wasn’t a political discussion; no leaders were called.”
Srivastava, however, said that even if the books were in circulation, the programme was a violation of MCC since it seemed to be advertising a particular political leader, and that permission for the event had not been sought.