Patna: Bihar's ruling grand alliance led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar stayed away from the third edition of the International Yoga Day celebrations on Wednesday.
Besides the Chief Minister and his ministers, even senior leaders of the grand alliance of the Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress were missing from the yoga events.
"Neither Nitish Kumar, nor Tejashwi Yadav his deputy and younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad attended the celebrations," a government official said.
However, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including four Union ministers and senior party leaders took part in the celebrations, which were attended by hundreds of people across the state.
The state government did not hold any special event to mark the International Yoga Day, the official added.
Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ram Kirpal Yadav and Radhaa Mohan Singh, however, took part in the event across the state.
Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Paswan, who is also the chief of the Lok Janshakti Party, an ally of the BJP, attended the event in his parliamentary constituency in Hajipur. He practiced yoga with hundreds of people there.
Union Minister for Law and Justice and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad attended the yoga event at a park.
"There should not be any politics over yoga. We want to use yoga to unite the country. Nitish Kumar should have practiced yoga at Gandhi Maidan," Prasad said.
Ram Kirpal Yadav, who is the Minister Of State (Independent Charge) Rural Development, attended a yoga programme at the Paliganj Adarsh Gram in his parliamentary constituency of Patliputra, while his colleague Radha Mohan Singh, who is Minister of Agriculture, attended a Motihari event.
BJP state chief Nityanand Rai and senior party leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi also took part in yoga events.
JD-U spokesperson Sanjay Singh dared the BJP leaders to first enforce total prohibition in the country or at least in the BJP-ruled states, only then will the JD-U join the Yoga Day celebrations from 2018, he said.
"It is not us, BJP has been doing politics over yoga by branding it with PM Modi and using it as a part of its agenda," Singh said.
Nitish Kumar, who practices yoga every morning, told the media on Monday: "I also practice yoga and would like people too to practice it." He, however, opposed the political propaganda over the issue and termed the BJP leaders brouhaha over Yoga Day as nothing more than a publicity stunt.
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Updated Date: Jun 21, 2017 15:07:44 IST