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Hazarika on musical trail

BJP nominee Bhupen Hazarika has said he will win hearts in elections through the language of music.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Guwahati
UPDATED ON APR 05, 2004 05:19 PM IST

BJP nominee in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and Dadasaheb Phalke award winner Bhupen Hazarika has said he would win hearts in the elections through the language of music.

With music being his forte, the esteemed musician, lyricist and poet said he plans to use it during his poll campaign to "reach out to my people. That is my instrument to bring a social change".

On Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's reported criticism of Hazarika for association with BJP, he told reporters in an interaction here "I am a liberal man and have got the democratic right to chose what is right and so I have gone with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee".

The former Sangeet Natak Akademi chairman takes on the ruling Congress' old timer Kirip Chaliha and Asom Gana Parishad's Bhrigu Kumar Phukan, besides others in a multi-cornered Lok Sabha election for the prestigious Guwahati seat on April 20.

Hazarika said his special concern would be development of the North East region.

Despite acknowledging his contributions to the cultural scene of the state, Gogoi has been resorting to Hazarika-bashing by accusing him of being an "opportunist and singing not from his heart but from his lips only".

Gogoi had reportedly said Hazarika "always takes side of whichever party is ruling. He has never taken up with the Centre issues relating to Assam, be it insurgency, floods or the pending gas cracker project".

Hazarika said "I decided to side with the strongest man who is Vajpayee along with whom I first had rapport in a song making session".

"Vajpayee has internationally established India and built the road to peace with Pakistan and all these aspects influenced my mind to join the party", he said.

On the controversial IMDT act, the maestro said his party will go for its scrapping during the first session of the next Parliament.

To solve the unemployment problem in the state, Hazarika said he had an ambitious proposal to establish a Rs 1000 crore mega industry for providing employment.

Undeterred by presence of Hazarika, Gogoi is confident that "Congress's prospect is good in Guwahati".

Asserting that his mission was to make Guwahati the gateway to South East Asia, Hazarika said "if I am elected I shall translate all my clout, my contacts and my power to make meaningful contributions in this area".

Hazarika's first innings in politics was in 1967 when he was elected as an independent MLA from Naoboicha assembly constituency in Sonitpur district for five years till 1971.

Declared as one of the best singers of the country for the 20th century in 1985, the Padmashree has either sung, set to music or written 600 songs and has to his credit four collections of lyrics ranginging from pure lyrical grace to celebration of patriotism and socialism.

Hazarika, who moved out of Assam about 30 years ago to settle in Kolkata and then to Mumbai, has made his mark as a music director in Assamese, Hindi, Bengali and Bhojpuri films, besides directing Assamese feature films, television films and documentaries.

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