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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dist Administratin Suspends Malda Book Fair Citing Excuse of Model Code of Conduct of By-Election

MALDA, 16 JAN: Total chaos reigned in Malda Book Fair as administration suspended the 7-day fair which was to begin today. Administration cited that the fair might violate the electoral code of conduct as the decision from the Election Commission of India did not reach them till today about the status of the book fair.

Book stalls were opened, inaugural function was held accordingly but soon the the additional district magistrate (general) Alice Vaz and SDO – sadar Pushpendu Mitra entered the fair campus along with police personnel and hung up a notice of suspension. With a sharp reaction, organizers vowed to continue the fair.
ADM Alice Vaz and SDO Pushpendu Mitra in Book Fair ground 

It may be noted that 24th Malda Book Fair was scheduled to begin today. Accordingly preparation started since October this year. However, on 11th of this month Election Commission had announced the date of by-election at English Bazaar which would take place on 22 February. With this notification uncertainty loomed large on the fair as the electorate members including the Ministers and Councilors would not be allowed to take part actively in the fair. But the preparation was going on.

Notice to adjourn Book Fair
250 units of  stalls including 190 book units in the fair were all ready last night. Most of the stalls were owned by the Kolkata publishers. This year being the 200th year of Malda district, a special exhibition was arranged. Litterateur Rabishankar Ball came to inaugurate the fair.

But the procession of the students led by Ball was stopped midway today by administrations. At 3.30 pm Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Alice Vaz came to fair ground and hung a notice that “till a clarification from ECI is received, the fair is suspended.” 

Sharp reaction came from the organizers. Hiranmoy Saha, on behalf of the organizers said, “All the preparation is complete. The publishers too have reached. Now how can we cancel this fair?”

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