India Against Corruption (IAC) Mumbai will move the courts for a bigger venue to stage the Anna Hazare-led protest on December 27, 28 and 29.
IAC Mumbai has received permission from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to use a 30,000 square metre ground in the Bandra-Kurla Complex for the protest.
However, the cost of hiring the ground adds up to Rs19 lakh (Rs11, 31,678 plus a security deposit of Rs7,69,500). MMRDA has asked the organisers to pay the amount immediately.
IAC told mediapersons on Wednesday that the city’s Azad Maidan was provided free by the state government, while Delhi's Ram Lila Maidan, where Hazare held the first leg of his agitation, came for a token charge of Rs5,000 a day.
On Tuesday, IAC appealed to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to waive or reduce the charges. “So far, we have not received any official correspondence from the CM’s office and have therefore decided to seek legal help,” said Mayank Gandhi, IAC Mumbai coordinator, at a press conference.
Gandhi said that though IAC had donors Hazare did not approve of individual sponsorships for a public protest. “He (Hazare) says it is our constitutional right to protest and the government must accommodate us. As of now, we have decided to go back to the Mumbai Police and secure Azad Maidan for the coming andolan,” he said.
Meanwhile, angry with the government for tabling the Citizens’ Charter and “diluting” the Lokpal bill, Hazare has dropped his plan to attend the discussions on the Lokpal bill in Parliament.
Instead, he will camp at Ralegan Siddhi for a few days and then go directly to Mumbai to begin his three-day hunger strike on December 27.