Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cancelled his scheduled inauguration of the Khelo India Youth Games 2020 in Assam’s Guwahati on January 10, 2020, The Indian Express reported. The move comes amid ongoing protests in the state against the newly passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Avinash Joshi, CEO of Khelo India Games said, "We had invited the Prime Minister. Till now, no confirmation has come. But informally, we have been informed that he is not coming."
According to reports, the decision was taken in view of the AASU’s (All Assam Students' Union) warning that a huge demonstration will be held across the state if PM Modi attends the event. A total of four people have died in the police firing while two died during violence by miscreants during anti-CAA protests so far.
Last year, the annual summit slated to take place between PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe from December 15 to 17 in Guwahati was also cancelled after the situation deteriorated following massive demonstrations in the state capital over the passage of CAA in Parliament.
The amended law passed by the Lok Sabha in the Winter Session on December 11, 2019, grants citizenship to non-Muslim persecuted minorities from neighboring Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
Launched in 2018, the Khelo India Games was introduced to ‘revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
The Khelo India program has been divided into 12 verticals- Play Field Development, Community Coaching Development, State Level Khelo India Centres, Annual Sports Competition, Talent Search and Development, Utilization and Creation/ Upgradation of Sports Infrastructure, Supports to National/ Regional/ State Sports Academics, Physical fitness of school children, Sports for Women, Promotion of sports amongst people with disabilities, Sports for Peace and Development, and Promotion of rural and indigenous/ tribal games.