With their planned event in the centre of a row, organisers of the Coldplay concert in Mumbai have spoken out, saying their function is not a “political” but a “social movement”. “We are a non-partisan movement and it is disappointing to see our efforts to create long-term change and work towards eradicating extreme poverty being caught in the middle of politics as usual. Our platform is one which aims to unify and bring together all stakeholders to ensure India takes on a leadership role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Global Citizen, the organiser of the event, said in press release issued Friday.
The concert is to be held on November 19. The state government has given tax exemption for the show and has also rationalised the rents for the MMRDA grounds, where the event will be held. This has attracted criticism from opposition parties, with leaders accusing the BJP of attempting to leverage the event for political gains amid local body polls in the state.
Congress leaders Thursday even approached the Election Commission, demanding that code of conduct restrictions be imposed on the concert.
In its statement, Global citizens, however, said that it is not attached to any political party. “Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister Vijayan of Kerala, Congress Leader Smt. Meira Kumar, BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, Shiv Sena Youth Wing Chief Aaditya Thackeray are some of the leaders who Global Citizen have called on, whose achievements have been highlighted, and who have made commitments in response to the voice of young India and who have championed issues,” the release said.
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, meanwhile, clarified that neither the party nor he wishes to ban the event or the band. He said, “In our memorandum to the state election commission, we have mentioned that the event should either be deferred or no political leader be allowed to attend it and make statements. I am well aware that there is no code of conduct in Mumbai or Thane, but politicians can use this event to exploit and influence voters in rural areas.”