Narendra Modi encourages Gujarat to play in Khel Mahakumbh

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Ahmedabad, Jan 18: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the much awaited mega sports event in the state - Khel Mahakumbh on Friday, Jan 18. Encouraging the people of the state, Modi tweeted, "From today the athletes will be on the field, entire Gujarat will be playing! My best wishes to all the participants."

"As Khel Mahakumbh begins today, sharing a blog on significance of this sports extravaganza in Guj's development journey," added the Chief Minister while tweeting.

Over 25 lakh athletes including 7 lakh women athletes and 1 lakh specially abled athletes cutting across all age groups have registered to participate in Khel Mahakumbh.

Attending the inaugural ceremony in Ahmedabad, Modi was quoted as saying, "There can be no sportsman spirit without sports. We do not want to restrict sports only till a field. We want to take it to the entire Gujarat so that it becomes a field of sportsmanship."

The Khel Mahakumbh has been launched on a day when sources informed that Modi is likely to head BJP's campaign committee for the upcoming 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Despite tremendous criticism and reported differences between Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders, sources informed that the ideological parent of the BJP is also likely to support Modi as the head of the committee.

However, Modi will not resign as Gujarat CM to assume the prominent role in BJP party affairs in the Centre. It is believed that Modi would become a tough competitor for Congress's Rahul Gandhi who too leads his party's election coordination committee.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration ceremony of Gujarat Khel Mahakumbh in Surat on Friday.

Narendra Modi at the inauguration ceremony of Gujarat Khel Mahakumbh. To his left is Indian cricketer Yousuf Pathan. Yousuf's brother, Irfan, was present during Modi's poll campaign prior to the state assembly polls in December.

Narendra Modi speaks at the inauguration ceremony of Gujarat Khel Mahakumbh in Surat. He had other dignitaries accompanying him on the occasion .

Modi greets a youngster at the inauguration ceremony of Gujarat Khel Mahakumbh in Surat. Gujarat celebrated 2012 as the Yuva Shakti Varsh and Modi said it will be the same this year as well.

Narendra Modi has stressed youth as the future of the country and the Khel Mahakumbh created a perfect blending of youth and sports.

Participants celebrate with colourful flags at Gujarat Khel Mahakumbh.

Boys and girls perform at the Gujarat Khel Mahakumbh. The Gujarat CM said not to give importance to sports is a great disservice. He said the Gujarat government was aiming to promote sports across the state.

Youngsters perform at Gujarat Khel Mahakumbh.

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