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Home > India > News > Report

IOA invites Rahul Gandhi to run with Olympic torch relay

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | April 09, 2008 13:15 IST
Last Updated: April 09, 2008 14:40 IST

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The Indian Olympic Association on Wednesday said it has invited Rahul Gandhi along with other young Parliamentarians to participate in the Indian leg of the Olympic torch relay.


IOA president Suresh Kalmadi said the step to invite political personalities has been taken on the behest of the organisers.


"They want people from all walks of life to take part in the relay. So, we have invited few young MPs, including Rahul Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada and Sachin Pilot," Kalmadi said.


Kalmadi, though, said they were yet to meet the young MPs with a formal request. "We are yet to go personally and invite them," he said.


Kalmadi, who is on his way back to India after attending the conference of the IOC on the torch relay and other issues, told, "Once I am in India, I would speak to him on the phone and try to convince him. So far, I have not got any response," he said.


Rahul's participation would have to be cleared by SPG and it may add to the problems of Delhi police.


Kalmadi also said that the route the torch would take is yet to be finalised. This would be done in the next couple of days in consultation with security experts. According to sources Joytiraditya Scindia and Jitin Prasada have already confirmed their participation.


Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has pulled out of the run with the flame, expressing his solidarity with the pro-Tibetan activists, though cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has agreed to be a part of the run in New Delhi on April 17.


Kalmadi had also assured the relay, which had seen worldwide protests, would go without any hiccup in India.


"The torch relay is a matter of pride and we would ensure that no untoward incident takes place. Everything has been planned and there would be adequate security measures," he assured.


Milkha Singh, Pullela Gopichand and Anju Bobby George are among the prominent personalities who will take part in the relay.


Additional reportage: PTI