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Sahitya Sabha president ‘happy’ with list

- Members flay govt for failure to tackle floods, BTAD violence

Guwahati, Sept. 27: Asam Sahitya Sabha president Rong Bong Terang today said he was happy with the names of three candidates selected for the next president.

Talking to the media at the organisation’s office here, Terang said he “did not have any option” but to respect the list and be “happy” with it, as it was prepared by following the society’s constitution.

“Yes, I am happy with the list. I do not have any other way but to accept it as the list was prepared following the constitution of the organisation,” said Terang.

Of late, the literary society has faced sharp criticism from different quarters for preparing a list with three candidates each for the posts of president and general secretary by amending the constitution.

There was also an allegation that except writer Imran Shah, the other persons named in the list were not fit to sit at the prestigious president’s seat of Assam’s apex literary society.

The controversy had rocked the literary society so badly that former president Nagen Saikia and Homen Borgohain had snapped all ties and lifetime member Hiranya Bhattacharjya also resigned, followed by a group of writers staging a dharna protesting the chaos.

The executive meeting of the society, chaired by Terang and held at Lakhmiram Baruah Sadan here today, discussed different issues, including the recent controversy, implementation of Assamese in the state, the communal clash in BTAD and the flood situation.

The participants agreed the state government had not taken any fruitful measures to implement the demands of the society to protect Assamese.

“If the state government does not initiate any measures before October 25 to protect Assamese, we will hit the streets along with literary groups of different indigenous communities and other organisations,” said Paramananda Rajbongshi, general secretary of the society.

The society criticised the state government for its alleged failure in tackling the BTAD violence. They blamed the Centre and state governments for their lackadaisical attitude in solving the problem of illegal migrants in Assam.

“The communal violence has singed Assam. The Centre and the state governments have failed to solve the issue,” said Rajbongshi. He added the society was in favour of detection and deportation of all “non-Indians”, who have entered Assam illegally after March 25, 1971.

The Sabha also demanded the Centre to declare flood a national problem and take all possible measures to prevent the problems that people in the state may face in future from floods.

“We feel the Centre treats Assam like a stepmother. Why does the Centre not declare flood a national problem? It is yet to release the money it promised to flood-affected areas,” Rajbongshi added.