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Cong leeway for party youths

- Activists paste poll posters on walls of govt and private buildings

Feb. 23: In 2008, the Congress government started a city beautification drive involving students of city schools to paint the walls.

After four years, the young brigade of the same party defaced those paintings with posters of candidates who vied for various posts in Assam Youth Congress elections the first phase of which was held today.

Just look at the walls on the city streets and you will feel the pain finding the paintings delicately made by enthusiast school students have been defaced, which many feel is an example of “irresponsibility” of the members of the Congress.

At a recent news conference, state education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma defended some activities like riding motorcycles without wearing helmets (in election rallies) by Youth Congress members as “natural behaviour of youths which should not be restricted in the name of rules and regulations”.

Among many, two walls which were defaced by posters of contestants to the post of Youth Congress are the boundary walls of Handique Girls’ College and Cotton College. When the annual elections were held in the two colleges, the college authorities asked the students not to stick any posters on walls so that the beautiful paintings on the walls could be protected.

Now, hundreds of posters of aspiring Youth Congress leaders have come up on the walls as if they were part of an exhibition, completely ignoring the appeals.

The posters bore names of some candidates like Sujit Kumar Bose, Dipankar Baishya, Prasanta Kumar Mahanta, Jayanta Krishna Das and Serifa Begum.

The students of Handique Girls’ College condemned the act of the Youth Congress. “This should not be done. They have defaced the entire wall,” said Daisy Das, a student.

“We do not know when they come to stick the posters, otherwise, we could have stopped it. It is very bad defacing the beauty of the city in the name of elections,” said Barnali Das, another student.

Principal of Handique Girls’ College, I. Bordoloi, said that no permission was taken by any member of the Youth Congress before sticking posters on the boundary walls.

“Now, it looks like the pictures of those who are contesting for various posts of the election are mocking at the spirit and works of their seniors. It is an example of irresponsibility. What can the people of the state expect from them?” a senior citizen of the city asked.

Kunal Banerjee, public relation officer of the Indian Youth Congress, said they instructed every candidate not to stick posters on the walls of any government and private buildings. “Disciplinary actions will be taken against those who have violated the instructions,” he said.

The Guwahati unit of the the BJP today expressed its dissatisfaction at the way members of the Youth Congress have been pasting leaflets and posters on walls of public buildings and educational institutes in the city while campaigning for the election of members to the organisation.

President of the Guwahati city unit of the BJP, Naren Das, said while chief minister Tarun Gogoi had recently stressed beautification of the city, the youth wing of the Congress was involved in defacing public property.