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Shah elected Sabha chief

Guwahati, Nov. 18: Eminent litterateur Imran Shah was today elected the president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha, the apex literary body of Assam.

Shah won the election, the results of which were declared today at an executive meeting of the Sabha at Kaliabor in Nagaon district, with an overwhelming majority. While Shah received 598 votes, the other two contenders — Naren Kalita and Kanak Chandra Sarma -— received 114 and 63 votes respectively.

Shah will be the president of the Sabha’s forthcoming Barpeta Road session, succeeding Rong Bong Terang.

As news of his election to the prestigious post spread, Shah’s fans and well-wishers rushed to his house at Sivasagar to greet him. They hoped Shah would provide a new momentum to the organisation.

Talking to The Telegraph over phone, Shah said as he had not been directly associated with the Sabha earlier, it would take a few months to chalk out his plans. “I have to go through the rules and regulations of the Sabha first. It will take a few months. Only then I can decide how and what to do,” he said.

“I have taken it (the result) as an order from the people,” Shah, who writes poems with the pseudonym Ishan Dutta, said. Shah said the change, from a writer without having any connection with the apex literary body to its leader, was rather a sudden development for him.

Today’s result has also brought to an end the month-long controversy with people questioning the eligibility of two contestants — Kalita and Sarma.

The controversy had gone to such an extent that two of the Sabha’s former presidents — Homen Borgohain and Nagen Saikia — severed their connections with it. However, Sabha’s office bearers, including president Terang, defended the list till the end saying it was made according to Sabha’s procedures. The controversy had also landed the organisation in the court.

Shah initially declined to contest the election because of the controversy but changed his mind “owing to people’s overwhelming demand”.

Born in 1933 in Sivasagar, Shah ventured into literature at an early age. His first collection of poems, Banabasee, was published when he was a student of Class IX. In the very next year, he published his first novel, Sangeetor Xipare.

Ishan Duttar Nirbachita Kabita, Pora Matir Malita, Hiyar Phulanir Phul, Nihxonga Dhuxor, Dhou Bhagi Dhou, Bondi Bihangame Kande, Piyamukhchanda, Ityadi, Jonakar Chabi, Krantirekha, Kabi Police and Jabanbandi are some of his popular books.

Paramananda Rajbongshi and Prahlad Chandra Tasa were elected the vice-president and general secretary.


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