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Library shuts out political meet

The National Library authorities have decided to slam the gates on a political convention scheduled for February 20.

“We won’t allow a political programme on the library’s premises,” director K.K Banerjee told Metro.

Banerjee added that the organisers of the convention — the Paschim Banga Kararakshi Samity, affiliated to the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) — had not told him it would be a “political programme” while seeking permission to use the auditorium at the country’s largest repository of books.

“Instead, they told me that a cultural programme would be held for the benefit of jail inmates. That is why I gave them permission,” he added.

The library saying no to the programme to be attended by the two RSP ministers, Biswanath Chowdhury and Kshiti Goswami, followed Monday’s report in Metro (picture above) highlighting how the abode of books would be invaded by over 300 jail employees.

From 9am to 6pm on February 20, the readers would have had to suffer as Bhasha Bhavan, where the auditorium is located, also houses the reading room.

“It’s very obvious that the two ministers gave their approval for the programme on the premises,” said a senior library official. “The PWD minister had even urged the authorities to reduce the auditorium’s rent.”

Asked about the library now denying them permission, Goswami said: “If they do not want to allow the convention they should just tell the organisers; it’s simple.”

Jail minister Chowdhury claimed to be unaware about the venue. “Look, I am only one of the invitees to the convention... I have been to the library to attend several programmes in the past,” he said.

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