Celebrities, commoners to receive Queen’s Baton in Mumbai

Mumbai, Sep 9 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan will lead celebrities, sportspersons and industrialists in welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games, when it reaches here from Pune Friday, officials said Thursday.

Besides Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Sports Minister Suresh Shetty and union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Gurudas Kamat and sports officials and members of the State Olympic Association shall be present on the occasion.

Olympian Dhanraj Pillay, Commonwealth chess champion Praveen Thipsay, Arjuna Award winners Kamlesh Mehta, Rachita Mistry, Joachim Carvalho, Adil Sumariwala, M.M. Somaiya, Dronacharya awardee Raghunandan Gokhale, and chess champ Bhagyashree Thipsay will also be present.

Industrialists Ratan Tata and Adi Godrej are also likely to join the official function to be held at the historic Gateway of India in south Mumbai.

The baton entered the state from Goa and went to Kolhapur, the erstwhile princely region of southwest Maharashtra and from there it went to Pune.

From Pune, the baton will arrive here by road at Karanje Naval Jetty at Uran in Navi Mumbai.

After the official function and a cultural program at the Gateway of India, it will be taken to the Chowpatty promenade and finally the rally will culminate at the Mumbai University campus in south Mumbai by 2 p.m.

Next the baton relay will go to the Union Territory of Daman & Diu and then Baroda in Gujarat next Monday.