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Narang becomes Sahitya Akademi president

February 17, 2003 17:50 IST

In one of the most politically charged elections for the post of president of the Sahitya Akademi, Urdu literary critic Gopichand Narang defeated Jnanpith award winner Mahashweta Devi in New Delhi on Monday.

Narang won 56 of the 94 votes polled.

While the Jnanpith awardee had expressed surprise at the ‘politicisation' of the elections to the post this time and denied that she had been 'pressured' to contest the same, Narang junked allegations of being 'propped up' by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh lobby.

Besides Mahashweta Devi and Narang, Punjabi writer Kartar Singh Duggal was in the fray, but he withdrew later.

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