Shimla : The DYFI is set to launch an aggressive campaign this week to save the Annandale ground saying top politicians and land sharks will not be allowed to convert this historic ground in this Himachal Pradesh capital into a BCCI concrete cricket stadium .
“We will fight for opening Annandale to the public instead of making it a fort of golfers and allowing a cricket stadium built here ,” said Balbir Prashar , secretary Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) here Sunday .
The ‘save annandale’ campaign will be formally launched on March 23 , the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh .
“The DYFI will organise a signature campaign to expose both the state government and the HPCA(BCCI) and their motives ,” Prashar said .
“We will campaign for handing over Annandale to the youth who should use it for multiple purposes including public festivals and programmes in the past ,” said Prashar.
“We will expose the nefarious campaign of the BCCI as it is bent to take over the ground and use it for their own interests ,” Prashar warned .
He said the Dharamsala cricket ground had exposed the BCCI’s agenda who don’t even allow the local youth to enter this ground .
“The campaign unleashed to hand over the ground to BCCI smacks of vested interests and tentacles of the land mafia who have not left even the most scenic places in Shimla away from commercial ventures ,” Prashar said .
The DYFI has questioned the state government asking why it has allowed buying of land at the edge of the Annandale ground to powerful business people the next step would be to break all green laws build a cricket stadium here .
Prashar said the youth of the state are convinced the campaign for taking over the Annandale ground is backed by land mafia who have both direct and tacit support from the Dhumal led BJP government .
“How has the BJP government allowed converting of the dense forest surrounding Annandale into a grassland so that land sharks can take over this land ,” said Prashar .
The famous Annandale, since its inception by the British in the 1830s was the haunt of Anglo-Indian playful activities, amusements and entertainments.
It was a place for picnic parties , fetes , fancy fairs races and polo matches and other sports activities .
The Durand cup football was started here in 1888 but was later shifted to Calcutta .