Guwahati, Nov. 23: Dispur’s plan to hold the Guwahati Book Fair at the Maniram Dewan Trade Centre has hit a roadblock with the All Assam Book Publishers and Sellers Association deciding not to participate.
A majority of the participants in the fair, organised by the Publication Board, Assam, are members of the All Assam Book Publishers and Sellers Association, which was involved in a spat with the government over its own book fair — the Northeast Book Fair — venue.
Kamal Medhi, the spokesperson for the association, told The Telegraph that the Guwahati Book Fair must also be held at any of the prime locations in the city. The members of the association will not participate in a fair at the trade centre on the city outskirts, he added.
Medhi said even though the association welcomes the state government’s decision to allow the Northeast Book Fair at Chandmari or Sonaram High School ground, the association strongly opposes the trade centre venue for the Guwahati Book Fair.
“The association will soon submit a memorandum to chief minister Tarun Gogoi to press the demand for holding the Guwahati Book Fair either at Assam Engineering Institute playground in Chandmari or Sonaram High School ground. If the government goes ahead with the plan to organise the fair at the trade centre located in Betkuchi, we will be forced to abstain,” Medhi said.
A citizens’ meeting on Friday adopted the resolution to form a committee comprising eminent citizens to select a suitable place to hold the book fair at a particular ground in future.
The association is working overtime to hold the Northeast Book Fair at the Assam Engineering Institute ground from December 10.
“The original schedule of holding the fair from November 27 could not be implemented because of the controversy over shifting of the venue. The association could not prepare for the fair as its members were engaged in the agitation against shifting the venue to the trade centre,” Medhi said.
He said the association has also constituted an advisory committee comprising intellectuals, scholars and publishers from Assam and outside the state to chalk out plans on how to make the Northeast Book Fair more attractive.