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Bismillah Khan's family boycotts UP assembly poll

Written by: Staff

Varanasi, May 3: Angered over delay in building of a tomb for the family of shehnai legend Ustad Bismillah Khan has decided to boycott assembly poll here today.

''Our family that resides in Sarai Harha locality under the city's (South) assembly segment comprises over 60 valid voters. But we have decided not to exercise our franchise this time to protest the delay in building of a red sandstone tomb at Karballeh Fatimaan graveyard, where Khan Sahib was buried on August 21 last,'' said Ustad Naiyyar Hussain Khan (60), the musical successor and second of the five sons of Khan Sahib said.

''All five of us, the eldest Mehtab Hussain, Naiyyar Hussain, Zamin Hussain and Kazim Hussain and our other family members have decided to boycott the election to protest the non-fulfilment of the promise made by the state government immediately after the demise of our father,'' said Nazim Hussain, the youngest son of the music maestro.

Mr Nazim, a tabla player, who consorted his legendary father at many concerts across the world said ''on election day be it Lok Sabha, assembly or civic polls, my father goaded us to first exercise our franchise and then indulge in daily chores. But delay in building of the promised tomb cum memorial for him has compelled us to offer this protest,'' he said.

''This decision of the family will not hurt Khan Sahib's soul as the protest is meant to further the cause of the late Bharat Ratna only,'' Mr Nazim said.

On September five last Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan had announced that the tomb of Ustad Bismillah Khan at Karballeh Fatimaan here will be built in red sandstone.

Meanwhile, a polling agent of a prominent political party at the Rampyari Rastogi Inter College polling booth confirmed that none of the Khan Sahib's family members including his son-in-law Ali Abbas had till 1300 hrs arrived at the booth.

The Bharat Ratna had awardee died following massive cardiac arrest at a private hospital here on August 21 last.


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