Red Bull has been asked to reconsider.
The energy drink company is organising an exhibition event, with British former Formula One racer David Coulthard driving a Formula One car on the Bandra-Worli sealink, scheduled for October 11.
And the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has requested Red Bull to move the date to after the elections, fearing the event would somehow be seen as a showcase for the ruling government.
“We got Red Bull’s request to hold the event well before the code of conduct was announced. Now that we know the date is within the code’s duration, we’ve asked them to get permission from the Election Commission or try postponing their date to after the election,” said an MSRDC official.
The event is scheduled to start at Bandra Reclamation. The organisers are in the process of getting permission from the Election Commission and the state government. The state Election Commission says as long as there is no political party involved in the event, it has no problem.
“The relevant agencies like traffic police will be checking to see if the organisers are following all the rules. This will be like any other event where a particular road is closed,” said Debashish Chakrabarty, the state’s chief election officer.
During the event, vehicular traffic on the sealink will be closed for nearly two hours.
MSRDC is charging Red Bull Rs 20 lakh for the event, given what Red Bull will possibly earn as advertising revenue from it. However, it is not expected to be much of a spectator sport – the barricades will make it particularly tricky for fans to catch a glimpse of Coulthard zipping down the middle of the 5.6 km sealink.
Red Bull is not planning to shift its scheduled October 11 event date. “As of now, the event is still on October 11 and there is no change in schedule,” said a spokesperson for Red Bull when asked if they had got any request from MSRDC.