The Himachal Pradesh state secretariat of the Communist Party of India Marxist has reiterated its position that the campaign led by both, the HPCA and the BJP state government is motivated by vested interests. The government being a facilitator for the HPCA in the present case.
The insidious campaign has a very strong nexus of land mafia which is bent to change the nature of the ground. The past history in Shimla town is a pointer towards this nexus in which the government has acted in the interest of real estate mafia and not for the state or the people. The classic cases are the under construction DLF project in Kanlog and the take over of the Himalayan International School at Charrabra where the real estate interests were allowed to supersede the law of the land.
The party has stated that even in ‘Annandale’, the facts speaks for themselves. Firstly the campaign was led by the HPCA who led a signature campaign with a foremost demand of converting this ground into a cricket stadium. Then after a strong parallel campaign led by the DYFI they changed the nature and formed a wider umbrella and also changed their demand from a cricket stadium to a multipurpose one. This was just a guise, with the intentions remaining same i.e. to grab the ground for their ulterior motives.
The DYFI had indicated that the HPCA’s campaign is backed by the land mafia who have already purchased more than 25 bighas of land surrounding Annandale ground. The buyers happen to be leaders of the ruling BJP and are closely linked with the HPCA. It is because of this reason that the campaign was camouflaged and tried to project as the custodian of sports loving people though the facts are otherwise.
The Dharamshala ground constructed by the HPCA has become their fiefdom where no native cricket player is allowed to play and practice. The DYFI campaign had further exposed their nexus charging them of their ulterior intentions for appropriating the ground and simultaneously changing the nature of land surrounding the ground from Forest to grassland (which has already been done) and then further converting it into a multi-star hotel.
The CPIM has demanded that in no case the ground should be handed over to the HPCA. This is the only green meadow left out in the town, hence the nature of the land should not be changed. The ground should be made available to the people of the town for various kinds of sports activities like cricket, hockey, football etc. Also the past practice of holding social and cultural festivals must be allowed and it should never be put to private interests. Further that the ground should not be put to the service of golfers and the money spinning mill-the HPCA.