A spectacular air show and a musical extravaganza with a dash of Bollywood marked the closing ceremony, which drew curtains on the controversies-ridden 34th National Games in Ranchi on Saturday night.
After 14-days of intense competition, hosts Jharkhand put up a glittering closing ceremony at the athletics venue of the Mega Sports Complex, even as the country’s top leaders decided to give it a miss.
After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, union sports minister Ajay Maken too skipped the ceremony at the last minute, apparently due to beleaguered IOA chief Suresh Kamadi’s veiled attack on the sports ministry.
In absence of the top politicos, Kalmadi declared the Games closed as the political overtones dogged the closing ceremony.
Indirectly taking a dig at the political heads, Kalmadi quipped, “I’m not going to give anymore bhasan (speech). Enough of bhasan has already been given,” as he went on to declare the Games closed.
With smiles and loud cheers all around, the spectacular ceremony lived up to the expectation at the jam-packed Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium in Mega Sports Complex on the outskirts of the city.
The best of the ceremony was preserved for the last part as Bollywood heartthrob Katrina Kaif danced to hit numbers that brought the entire atmosphere alive.
“It was a lifetime experience. Right from the air show to the item numbers, it made us proud of the state. I’ve never seen such an event and I’m sure everybody liked it,” said Amit Kumar Jha, an enthralled volunteer.