You must be wondering if your dream of finally seeing Coldplay (and a bevy of Bollywood stars) in concert in Mumbai will be postponed to next year. The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have said that the Global Citizen gig violates the election code of conduct for the BMC 2017 elections. A little background before we get to the meat of the matter.
Sanjay Nirupam, the Mumbai unit president of the INC has said that the ruling BJP-ruled government is “influencing voters” during “election time”. Yet, a source from Global Citizen India tells Bayside Journal: “Sanjay Nirupam’s statement are very personal and individualistic, as Milind Deora from the same party has said that the party doesn’t oppose the event or the cause.” Deora has tweeted that it is “unwise to demand a ban on Coldplay.”
Nirupam has also said that the Maharashtra government has “invested in the event” and that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has also waived entertainment tax for the gig. Since this exemption was given when the code of conduct was applicable, Nirupam claims it is a violation of the rules laid down by the Election Commission.
But Bayside’s source tells us: “We don’t affiliate ourselves with any political party. Even in our action journey when we have reached out to policy makers and people of influence, we have been completely neutral and cross political parties. We would like him also to come for the festival and be a part of this cause.”
JS Saharia, the state election commissioner, has said he will look into the matter.
The Indian Express reports that these rules do not apply to Mumbai since the municipal elections will only be held next year.
Niranjan Shetty, chief spokesperson for BJP Mumbai told The Age that it is a ‘futile attempt’ by the Congress.
Coldplay fans, no need to panic just yet. Global Citizen India has told us that the event will happen on the same date and venue (Nov 19 at MMRDA Grounds) as scheduled and it is “all under control”.