Himachal CPM unit has termed the recent March for Annandale’ under the aegis of HPCA, with a metamorphosised demand from a cricket stadium to multipurpose stadium as nothing, but the changing colours of a chameleon. CPM alleged that the change in the move happened due to a parallel movement generated by the DYFI a youth organisation demanding the Annandale ground to be saved from land sharks, HPCA and the golfers and put into service of common people for cultural and sports activities. It is in this background with a massive support for the youth body that the HPCA that initially tried its best to grab the ground for its ulterior motives was forced to change the track and offer something new and roping in some sections of the society. The CPIM has asked the groups that joined the HPCA to be aware of the nefarious designs of the HPCA which is a frontal organisation of the BJP to carry out its political ambitions amongst the cricket lovers of the state. The move very clearly smacks of the designs of appropriating the ground for vested interests and then turn it into a fiefdom where entry of the common people will be restricted as is the practice in Dharamshala.
CPM leader, Tikender Singh Panwar target cricket body and said that if the HPCA is so concerned about having a multipurpose stadium in Annandale then it should also ensure that Dharamshala is converted into the same. However, the land records adjoining the Annandale ground speaks volumes of the nexus in between the campaign and the land grabbers who have purchased more than 25 bighas of land and are just waiting for a facilitator to have value addition; the facilitator being the HPCA!. There is a strong bondage in between such land mafia and some of the leaders of the Annandale march who inadvertently are also members of the HPCA.
The CPIM has stated, the forces bent to grab the ground must desist from their moves as they have been thoroughly exposed. Even for the march they mobilised school students and that too by an order from the Education Director. This is extreme form of use of state machinery to serve narrow vested interests of the individuals in the garb of a movement. The party has stated, no construction activity should be allowed in the Annandale region as it is the only space left that has vast flora and fauna. The rich ecology would be badly destroyed by the land and real estate mafia that is eyeing the ground and is behind the move to grab the ground. The CPIM asked the government in no case should the ground be handed over to the sports body as it is worse than a private entrepreneur.
The sports body serves the private and political interests of the individual. The reminiscences of Dharamshala ground are still fresh in the minds of the people of the state. The life time members constructed the ground. Now there is a five star hotel being constructed by the HPCA and all this speaks about the long cherished business interests of the leaders of HPCA under the garb of promoting the game whereas they have virtually ruined the game of cricket. The place has become a heaven for profit makers who by organising the IPL matches generate enormous wealth. The IPL is heavy money making machine but the government does not tax it. In fact the government is so benevolent that it has not even exercised to take more than Rs 2 crores spent on the security being provided during the previous matches. The party has asked the campaigners to instead launch a campaign against unemployment which has reached alarming proportions in the state. In the recent test for 783 posts of clerks in the state more than 1 lakh applicants had applied. This shows the gravity of the situation in the state. Instead the promoters are more concerned in generating wealth and that too at the cost of the game i.e. cricket!