Assam govt refuses entry to Taslima Nasreen for votebank: Report

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Guwahati, Oct 22: The Congress government of Assam has refused to allow controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen to attend an international seminar in Guwahati. Reason: The authorities are afraid that Nasreen's visit could adversely affect the ruling party's votebank in the next Lok Sabha polls. A report published in an Assam-based newspaper said on Tuesday.

The seminar, which will held on the 72nd birth anniversary of late Assamese litteratuer Mamoni Raysom Goswami next month, has been jointly backed by Goswami's organisation and the state information and public relations department.

But the plan hit a roadblock after Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told the organisers and Goswami's family that the home ministry would not allow Nasreen's entry before the polls, the report said.

The writer also reportedly said that she knew that the government would not allow her to visit the state. Without taking any body's name, she also took a dig at the government saying the latter helps the fundamentalists through capitulation. "Democracy is all about expressing one's free opinion but yet the governments can not dare to stop the fundamentalists from stifling such freedom," lamented Nasreen, according to the report.

Assam state BJP leadership said the incident proved that the Congress government of the state has taken such a decision to appease the illegally Bangladeshi immigrants in the state, the report said. Asom Gana Parishad leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, however, avoided the issue.

In November 2007, Nasreen was forced to move out of Kolkata, her adopted city, in the wake of protests against her.

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