- "I was not the author," says Rajesh Jain
- He said he worked with Bluekraft Digital Foundation
- Bluekraft organised PM Narendra Modi's "Mann ki Baat" broadcasts
The second book was Marching with a Billion: Analysing Narendra Modi's Government in Mid-Term by journalist Uday Mahurkar.
All routine, except for one detail. "Rajesh Jain had absolutely nothing to do with this book (on Mann ki Baat)," former union minister Arun Shourie told NDTV. "He (Jain) is my friend. He told me he had been dragged into the (book release) function, given a speech to read," said Mr Shourie.
Rajesh Jain corroborated the former minister's claim. "I was not the author of 'Mann ki Baat' book and was surprised to see my name as author," Mr Jain told NDTV, speaking from Mumbai.
He said he was working with Bluekraft Digital Foundation that used to organise PM Modi's "Mann ki Baat" radio broadcasts during the release of the book, but asserted he had nothing to do with the book.
"I was asked by the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) to come to the event. There, I found that my name was printed on the cards as an author. At the event, I made it clear that I was not the author," Mr Jain said. Despite this, "the PIB site and narendramodi.in (PM Modi's website) continue to show me as the author," he said.
Mr Jain claims he has no idea who wrote the book and why he was asked to stand in for the author.
The PIB website carries three press releases on the book, perhaps reflective of the mystery of its authorship.
The first, dated May 25, 2017 - the day the book was released - says the book is "by Rajesh Jain". A second release the next day, describes the book as "authored by Shri Rajesh Jain". A third, later that evening, says the book "has been compiled by Mr. Rajesh Jain."
The release ends with the line "the books (including the one by Mr Mahurkar) have been brought out by 'BlueKraft Digital Foundation' and 'LexisNexis'."
When contacted, PIB spokesperson Frank Noronha said, "As per the PIB press release issued on 26.5.2017, last sentence of the third last paragraph mentions that the book has been compiled by Mr Rajesh Jain. There is no mention that he is the author of the book." He refused to respond when told that Rajesh Jain claimed he had nothing to do with the book (complied or otherwise).