Despite certain student organisation threatening massive protests if Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to Guwahati to inaugurate the Khelo India Youth Games, organisers are still hoping that he will be present for the function. There had been speculation that Modi might choose to skip the opening ceremony due to protests, but the officials said that they are yet to receive any communication in this regard. “We have extended an invite to Prime Minister Narendra Modi but confirmation is yet to come,” said Khelo India CEO Avinash Joshi.
The PM’s participation was thrown into doubt after the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) reportedly said on Sunday that him coming down to Guwahati to inaugurate the event on January 10 would compel them to launch massive protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. They had also said that they would keep an eye on the India-Sri Lanka T20I in the city on January 5. The student organisation had stated that both agitation and the Games can go hand-in-hand.
Meanwhile, despite violent protests against the CAA disrupting preparations for the Games for a few days, everything appears to be on track with Joshi saying that most arrangements had already been completed. “Everything is on track. The infrastructure is ready, the rooms are booked and the vehicles are ready. All the equipment has reached here except one or two, which will reach by tomorrow (Friday). The next one week will see the final preparations for the opening ceremony completed.
The full dress rehearsal will be held on January 9, while the ceremony itself will be on next day. The athletes and support staff will start arriving from January 5,” said Joshi. The games will get over on January 22. Sports secretary RS Julaniya was in Guwahati on Thursday to review the city’s preparedness for hosting the Games. Later in the day, he also held a meeting with Khelo India officials.
SL team arrives
The Sri Lankan team for the upcoming T20I against India arrived in Guwahati on Thursday. The team, led by pacer Lasith Malinga, went straight to the team hotel on arrival. The series opener will take place on Sunday. “The Indian team will arrive in batches. Whatever minimum security protocol that we have followed since 1983 when we hosted our first match is being followed. Guwahati is perfectly normal so no additional security measures have been taken. Our main issues will be regarding crowd-management and traffic management,” said ACA secretary Devajit Saikia.