Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal (right) with The Times Group MD Vineet Jain at a press conference held in November last year to announce the staging of 65th Filmfare Awards 2020 in Guwahati Credit: File image
A section of the film fraternity of Assam at a press conference in Guwahati where they voiced their opposition to the Filmfare Awards ceremony to be held in the city

Guwahati: Demanding immediate cancellation of the 65th Filmfare Awards 2020 scheduled to be held in Assam, people from different sections of the society, including the film fraternity of the state, have vehemently opposed the staging of the mega awards ceremony in Guwahati on February 15 this year.

“How can the state government get in touch with corporate festival held by a magazine and even invest a huge amount of money to hold it at a time when the situation in Assam is embroiled on the CAA fiasco?” noted Assam filmmaker Jahnu Barua asked.

The Assam government is planning to hold the Filmfare Awards in the month of February, and amid so many protests happening against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in the state, this move of the state to hold the awards ceremony is not acceptable, said the people who are opposing the move.

Apart from some of the leading personalities of the state, some prominent faces of the Assamese film industry — Zerifa Wahid, Pulak Banerjee, Bhupen Ujir, Ravi Sarma, etc — also addressed the media persons at the Guwahati Press Club.

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“I feel that our state is not in a position to bear a huge expense of the economy, including all arrangements that need to be made in stationing the Bollywood stars accompanied by their associates in Assam,” said actress Zerifa Wahid, adding: “The organisers were refused in many other venues of different states; so they have decided to hold this festival in Guwahati. The magazine that already lost its roots in the region cannot take out a huge amount of money amounting to Rs 200 crore.”

Actor Ravi Sharma, firmly opposing the hosting of the festival in Guwahati, said, “This festival is not going to benefit Assam in any way, be it industrially or economically. Rather, it will drain out a huge amount of money from us.”

“Why doesn’t the govt use the money to revive the closed paper mills and improve the condition of those suffering families?” Sharma questioned.

The 65th Filmfare Awards will be held on February 15 this year for which the government of Assam signed an MoU with the Times Group to play host to the extravagant Bollywood event for the first time in the state.

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