The Annandale row between the Army and the state government took a political turn on Monday with the CPM reiterating its charge of there was a nexus between the land mafia and the Annandale ground campaign,which it alleged was being backed both by the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) and the BJP government.
Student organisation DYFI had started a parallel campaign to ensure that the ground remains with the Army to serve strategic interests of the country,rather than being passed on to those having vested interests, said Tikender Singh Panwar,state CPM secretariat member.
He added: The government being a facilitator for the HPCA,the insidious campaign has a very strong nexus of land mafia which is bent to change the nature of the ground. The history of Shimla town is a pointer towards this nexus,in which the government has acted in the interest of the real estate mafia and not for the people. The DYFI had indicted the HPCA campaign is backed by the land mafia,who have already purchased more than 25 bigha around Annandale. The buyers happen to be leaders of the BJP and are closely linked with the HPCA.
Referring to an upcoming housing project at Kanlog in Shimla and the Himlayan International School at Charrabra,Panwar said: Here,real estate interests superseded the law of the land. Now,there is an attempt to convert Annandale into a cricket stadium as well.
Citizens forum: Mock drill a
The Annandale for Citizens forum,which has the backing of HPCA,said in a release that the Army mock drill at the Annandale on Monday was a cover-up exercise and never before had such an activity taken place here. What activities of national importance have been carried in the last 54 years… Why all sports,social and cultural activities,which were allowed till 2011,stopped after the ground was converted into a golf course and club? asked Ashwani Negi,the forum president.