A book fair organised by the Malda district administration has run into election model code trouble on the day of its opening.
The district administration has said the Malda Book Fair in Englishbazar cannot be held as the poll panel has announced the bypoll date — February 23 — for the Englishbazar Assembly seat.
However, the joint secretary of the organising committee and president of the Malda Yuva Trinamul Congress, Amlan Bhaduri, said on Wednesday that the fair would go on as scheduled till January 23. “We will carry on with the fair as the district administration has given us nothing in writing. The sentiments of the people will be hurt if we close the fair,” he said.
Around 5pm on Wednesday, district library officer Mamonjoy Roy put up a signed notice on the gates of the fair that said as per the instructions of the principal secretary of the mass education department, the book fair was to be kept suspended till permission from the Election Commission was received.
However, Bhaduri said that they wanted a notice from the district magistrate. “We will keep the fair going till we get a notice from the district magistrate,” he said. “I and other members of the organising committee tried to meet the district magistrate for the past few days but she was not available,” Bhaduri said.
The fair venue was open on Wednesday evening and people had flocked to the grounds. Picture by Surajit Roy