The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday demanded the Global Citizen Festival, featuring British rock band Coldplay in concert on November 19 , be postponed as it violates the election code of conduct for the upcoming municipal council polls.
The NCP criticised the BJP-led government for providing concessions for the festival and said that it has been planned by the ruling party to woo voters for next year’s BMC polls.
In a letter submitted to the State Election Commission (SEC), the Congress said the ruling party is expected to use the concert for political gains.The party has said that since the state government is the strategic partner for the show, it is likely to influence voters.
“The Maharasthra government has invested in the event [organised by Global Citizen India]. The MMRDA headed by the chief minister Fadnavis has given a concession of 75% in fare to the organisers for the ground at BKC. The government has also given tax exemption to the show. The tax exemption was given when the code of conduct was in force,” said Sanjay Nirupam, Mumbai chief of Congress. Nirupam has demanded that the show be postponed until the completion of the election for the municipal council and legislative councils.
“Or else, no political leader should be allowed to deliver speech from the stage where the performance of the band is being held,” he said.
JS Saharia, state election commissioner, has assured Nirupam the demand will be considered.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said no such concession was given to any cultural event in Maharashtra.
“In the Shiv Sena-led government in 1995-99, Michael Jackson’s concert was organised in the name of employment generation and now the BJP-led government is doing the same ,” Malik said, adding the government is making fun of poor people by making such tall claims.
In a statement, Global Citizen said: “We are a non-partisan movement making efforts to create long term change and work towards getting India to take on a leadership role in achieving the end of extreme poverty. We are deeply disappointed that this work is being caught in the middle of politics as usual. Our platform aims to unify and bring together all stakeholders, catalysing the youth using popular culture, to ensure India takes on a leadership role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”