Sirsa, Oct 2 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal today inauguated the XXI Haryana State Games amidst releasing of balloons, pigeons and bursting of crackers at the sprawling Jan Nayak Ch Devi Lal Vidyapeeth here.
Mr Badal declared the Games open to the thunderous applause from the jam-packed stadium. On his arrival, Mr Badal was given a warm welcome by the organising committee.
Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala, President of Table Tennis Federation of India Ajay Chautala and Haryana Olympic Association president Abhey Singh Chautala and Dr M S Malik were among those who received the Chief Guest.
In his address on the occasion Mr Badal praised former deputy PM Devi Lal for his vision and said that sportspersons should be given government jobs, encouragement and incentives.
Citing Punjab's cases, the chief guest said that the Punjab Government had recruited cricketer Harbhajan Singh, hockey players Gagan Ajit Singh and athlete Sunita Rani as DSPs in the Punjab Police.
He said by providing proper infrastructure and equipment, players can give better performance. He cited the case of Punjab shooter Avneet Sidhu from Badal village who won gold in 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The Games Flame was lit through remote control and it will continue to burn for three days.
An exhibition kabaddi match was played between Punjab and Haryana players which kept a goodly crowd spell-bound.
Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala presented cash award to 25 players who won medals in the Guwahati National Games.
The remaining medal winners will be felicitated on the closing day on October 4.
A cultural programme was an added feature of the impressive opening ceremony.