Ranchi, Feb 12 (IANS) Bollywood actors Vivek Oberoi and Ameesha Patel added glamour to the inaugural ceremony of the 34th National Games which got off to a spectacular start at the Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi Saturday evening.
Vivek created a sensation by driving a bike in the stadium while Ameesha and actor Samera Reddy performed on songs, including “Chak De” and “Jai Ho” songs of Sukhvinder.
The opening ceremony began with the National Anthem. The teams participated in a march past, led by the Services contingent. The contingent of Manipur, the last games’ champions, was the second in the march past.
A total of 28 states and five union territories took part in the march past.
The 25,000-strong spectators welcomed the home team’s contingent with a thunderous roar.
After the march past “akhara puja” (ritual) was conducted. Freedom fighter Bhagwan Birsa Munda, who fought against British, was remembered through a short film.
Jharkhand also remembered its five great sportspersons in a laser show. The five players included Olympic hockey gold winning India team captain of 1920 Jaipal Singh Munda and Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Long before the start of the opening ceremony, spectators started queuing up at the gates of the stadium. More than 80 percent of the stadium was full by the time the ceremony began.
Governor M.O.H. Farook inaugurated the event. “It is a red letter day in history of Jharkhand,” said Farook.
Earlier, the Jharkhand Armed Police band regaled the spectators. A plane hovered over the stadium and showered rose petals after the governor’s arrival.
Chief Minister Arjun Munda, Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi, former chief minister Shibu Soren and Jharkhand Olympic Association president R.K. Anand were present on the occasion.
A total of 460 golds in 33 disciplines are at stake at the games.