Sahara boss ‘hijacks’ Queen’s Baton
Lucknow, July 11
High drama marked the arrival of the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton in the city when breaking the convoy five vehicles took a detour to make an unscheduled stoppage at Sahara Shahar, the township of industrialist Subrata Roy Sahara where he received a replica of the baton amidst media glare.
This hijacking of the event has been criticised by political parties. Samajwadi Party state president Akhilesh Yadav has asked Govenor BL Joshi to order an inquiry into it and BJP spokesperson H. Dikshit has asked CM Mayawati to apologise for causing embarrassment to the state.
Lucknow DM Anil Sagar who was unaware of the prototype baton said he would be writing the Centre in this regard.
The Queen’s Baton Relay team, led by Lt. Gen Raju Kadyan (retd), later expressed regret for causing the confusion, which led to many anxious moments.
With much fanfare the Queen’s Baton left the KD Singh Babu Stadium in Hazratganj on Saturday for Rae Bareli en route to Allahabad to continue its onward journey in Uttar Pradesh. Near Bandariya Bagh, a stone’s throw from the state DGP’s office five vehicles in the Rae Bareli-bound convoy broke away from the prescribed route and turned towards Gomti Nagar.
Following a chase the police apprehended them. Some officials associated with the Commonwealth Games got into some private vehicles along with a replica of the baton and reached Sahara Shahar.
When the media flashed the news of the baton being received by the Sahara Pariwar led by Subrata Roy Sahara the district administration panicked. After checking on the original baton, the district administration discovered that the one taken to Sahara Shahar at Gomtinagar was a prototype about which they had not been informed. Meanwhile, Sahara India has clarified that the baton arrived in Sahara Shahar on the instructions of the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games in India.