New Delhi: President Prathiba Patil Tuesday accepted an invitition be the chief guest at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games here Sunday.
Sports Minister M.S. Gill and Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi met the president and personally invited her to be the chief guest at the opening ceremony of the Oct 3-14 games. ”They met the president and invited her to become the chief guest. She has accepted the invitation,” said a Rashtrapati Bhavan official. The official, however, said that there was no informtion about Prince Charles opening the Games. “We don’t know about that,” the official added. Sources said the Indian president and Prince Charles will share the honours at the inauguration of the Commonwealth Games in the absence of the Commonwealth head, Queen Elizabeth. While Prince Charles will read out the Queen’s baton message, Patil will announce the opening of the Games, the sources said. The president was also introduced to the Games mascot Shera. ”The president gave her best wishes for the successful conduct of the Games to Shera, as well as to the chairman of the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games,” a statement issued here said. Kalmadi, on his part, reiterated that the Games would be a success. Some 7,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries and territories are participating in mega sporting event. -IANS