Sahitya Akademi Award-winning writer and former Assam Director General of Police, Kuladhar Saikia has been elected as the president of Asom Sahitya Sabha, the apex literary body of Assam.
In the Asom Sahitya Sabha (ASS) election, results of which were declared on Thursday, Kuladhar Saikia won the top post of the ASS by securing 269 votes.
While the vice-president’s post was won by Mrinalini Devi, who is also the mother of Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, by securing 308 votes.
The post of secretary-general was won by Jadav Sarma, who secured 323 votes.
In the third and final round, out of total 634 votes, 15 votes were declared invalid.
The other contestants for the post of the president were Surjya Hazarika, who got 74 votes, Prahlad Ch Tasa – 88, Basanta Kr Goswami – 46, Karabi Deka Hazarika – 75, Jayashree Goswami Mahanta – 69 and Pokhila Kalita got no vote.
The other contestants for the post of vice-president were Padumi Gogoi, who got 96 votes, Basanta Kr Sarma received 152 votes and Rati Mohan Nath secured 63 votes.
The two other contestants for the post of secretary-general were Devajit Bora, who got 255 votes and Harendra Kalita received 36 votes.
The counting of votes for various posts of the Asom Sahitya Sabha for the session 2020-22 was held at the Hojai Girls College cultural complex in Hojai on Thursday.
The chief electoral officer for the Sahitya Sabha election was retired judge of Gauhati High Court Biplab Kumar Sharma while Bijan Mahajan and SP Roy were present as election officers.
Former IPS officer Kuladhar Saikia recently retired as the Assam DGP.
Writer Saikia, an alumnus of Delhi School of Economics, Pennsylvania State University, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, received the Sahitya Akademi award in 2015 for his storybook titled ‘Akakhor Sobi Aaru Ananya’ (Picture of the Sky and Other Tales).
He also won the Katha Award for Creative Fiction.
Saikia has been writing short stories, poems, critical essays and plays right since his school days.
Born in 1959, Saikia had his postgraduation from Delhi School of Economics after which he was teaching Economics for a while at the Hindu College, Delhi University.
He worked as an officer of the Indian Economic Service in Planning Commission, New Delhi and then also as Indian Railway Traffic Service officer for a short while before joining the Indian Police Service in 1985.
He was at Pennsylvania State University, the USA doing a course on Leadership and Management and a Research Program on Community Development and management of resources during 2000-2001 as a prestigious Fullbright Fellow.
Saikia also worked as a Consultant in the World Bank, Washington for a brief period.
He has earned high appreciation through the initiation of ‘Project Prahari’ – community development and policing project launched in August 2001 to fight against social prejudices, economic isolation and militancy in the remote tribal villages.
He was awarded President’s police medal twice for his outstanding contribution to policing.