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Blow for Mamata, Mahasweta quits key post

Last Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 14:16

Zeenews Bureau

Kolkata: In what may be a huge setback for West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, one of her biggest supporters and state’s well-known author Mahasweta Devi has resigned as the chairperson of the Bangla Academy.

The move is being seen as yet another indicator of Mamata Banerjee’s eroding popularity since she appointed Mahasweta Devi, one of the West Bengal`s biggest intellectuals, as the chairperson of the Bangla Academy sometimes back.

Mahasweta Devi, who is a well-known author and Magsaysay Award winner, decided to quit after her proposal to give the prestigious Vidyasagar Award to a young author was allegedly turned down by the state government.

"I selected two writers and they have been totally neglected and some other persons have received the award. That`s why I have resigned," Mahasweta Devi was quoted as saying.
At a recent meeting of the academy she had recommended the name of two authors for the Vidyasagar awards, but one of them was later rejected by the state government, she said.

"It was a unanimous decision at the meeting. Everyone had agreed upon the names. But I don`t know why one of the names got excluded from the final list later without my knowledge," she told reporters.
The Magsaysay Award winner had openly supported Mamata Banerjee in the run up to the 2011 Assembly Elections. Ironically, the relationship between the two leading ladies had soured recently after a civil rights group, supported by the author, was stopped from holding a meeting.

The Sahitya Akademi Award writer had on an earlier occasion described the state government as `fascist` and alleged it was trying to throttle the people`s voice.

With PTI Input

First Published: Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 10:04

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