GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - Crying foul over the Assam Publication Board�s plan to hold two book-related events at the same venue at the same time, the All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association today alleged that it was a ploy to sabotage the 20th edition of the Northeast Book Fair to be organised by the association at the AEI Field at Chandmari here from November 1.
The association which has been holding the Northeast Book Fair for the past 19 years, today organised a public meeting to find an amicable solution to the �conflict� between the government and their organisation over holding the similar event at the same venue at the same time.
�We have been holding our book fair at the same time at the AEI Field at Chandmari. This time too, we booked the venue for the 20th NE Book Fair to be held from November 1 to 20 and paid the money in advance. Now, the Assam Publication Board wants to hold a children�s book fair and another event at the same place at the same time. Government influence is being used to make us change our plans,� said Dhiraj Goswami, general secretary of the association.
The association further alleged that the government was creating an unpleasant situation over the issue because of the former�s protest over its free textbook distribution scheme. �We have asked the government to make textbooks free for students from economically marginalised families and not for all,� he added.
A number of eminent persons attending the event advised the association to send a delegation to the government to find a solution. Writers Lakshminath Tamuly, Eli Ahmed, social activist Ajoy Dutta, MLA Abdul Khaleque, AM Saharia of Asam Sahitya Sabha, association president Ajit Kumar Barman attended the meeting.
More than 30 organisations including the All Assam Students� Union, Asam Lekhika Sanstha, and Bodo Sahitya Sabha took part in the meeting and supported the association.
The meeting informed that a delegation would meet the Governor, Chief Minister and Education Minister over the issue.