The order was placed last month and most of these books, meant for extra reading for students, will be delivered to state government-run schools by this month-end, a department official said.
“The order also includes purchase of books on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr B R Ambedkar but their number is lesser than that of the Modi books,” the official said.
In total 1,49,954 on PM Modi, 1,635 books on Pandit Nehru, India’s first prime minister, have been ordered, while 4,343 books on Mahatma Gandhi and 79,388 books on Dr Ambedkar have been ordered, as per the purchase order.
Also, 76,713 books on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee have been ordered, the official said.
The books, in Marathi, Hindi, English and Gujarati languages, are being purchased under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a programme for universalisation of elementary education, and will be kept as extra reading material for students from class 1 to 8, he said.
Books on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj occupy the pride of place in the purchase order, with the state government ordering 3,40,982 books on the life of the Great Maratha.
This number is followed by books on former president APJ Abdul Kalam (3,21,328).
The official said that the books are being purchased from private publishers.
State education minister Vinod Tawde said, “An expert committee has recommended the books and the order has been placed according to these recommendations.”
“There is transparency in the purchase method,” the BJP leader said.