International Yoga Day a 'publicity stunt', Bihar govt won't participate: Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday took a dig at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government over the International Yoga Day (IYD) preparations and termed the government's efforts in this regard a 'publicity stunt'.

ANI| Updated: Jun 19, 2017, 20:35 PM IST
International Yoga Day a 'publicity stunt', Bihar govt won't participate: Nitish Kumar

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday took a dig at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government over the International Yoga Day (IYD) preparations and termed the government's efforts in this regard a 'publicity stunt'.

Making these remarks while addressing a press conference here, Nitish said he was not against yoga but did not approve of such publicity stunts.

"I am not against yoga day but I don't like publicity stunts on this (IYD). I also do yoga but have never advertised it," said Nitish.

He also announced that the Bihar Government won't participate in IYD by saying "we don't believe in advertisement".

Nitish shares sweet and sour relations with Prime Minister Modi, as the political tussle between the two leaders is not new.

Nitish's party Janata Dal (United) was an important ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led NDA for almost two decades.

For the first time, the rift between the two leaders came to fore when Nitish reportedly insisted the BJP top brass to keep then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi out of campaigning in 2005 Bihar assembly elections after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) performed very well in Bihar in 2004 General Elections.

Reports said that Nitish was against the Gujarat Chief Minister's campaigning in Bihar over the 2002 Gujarat riots and believed his campaigning would keep Muslims voters away from the NDA.

The Bihar Chief Minister's distance from then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi continued during 2010 Bihar Assembly elections as well as the 2009 General elections.

However, probably Nitish Kumar was the only opposition leader who openly supported Prime Minister Modi's decision of the demonetisation.

Modi Government has made grand plans for the forthcoming International Yoga Day.

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) has been working tirelessly to make the International Yoga Day functions across the country and world a grand success.

Union government's 74 ministers would take part in Yoga Day functions in 74 cities on June 21.

Prime Minister Modi would take part in Yoga day function in Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow where AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik would also be present.

AYUSH Ministry is working day and night to make the International Yoga Day a big success not only at national level but also at international level. It has written letters to different Ambassadors and Embassies and urged to make the event successful.

International Yoga Day is celebrated annually on 21 June since its inception in 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his UN address had suggested the date of 21 June, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares special significance in many parts of the world.