BJP Leaders Participate in International Yoga Day; JD-U Refrains

BJP leaders Ram Kripal Yadav, Sushil K. Modi, and Ravi Shankar Prasad participating in yoga camp in Patna on Thursday.

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Patna: Governor Satya Pal Malik kicked off the International Yoga Day jointly organized by the state Art, Culture, and Youth Department and the Health Department at the Pataliputra Sports Complex in Patna on Thursday.

Among the VIPs who took part in the annual yoga camp included Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ram Kripal Yadav, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Agriculture Minister Prem Kumar, Health Minister Mangal Pandey, Patna Mayor Sita Sahu, legislators Arun Sinha, Sanjiv Chaurasia and a host of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and workers.

Chief Minister and Janata Dal – U chief Nitish Kumar, or any of his party leaders, however, were once again conspicuous by their absence allowing people to speculate if everything was fine within the NDA coalition.

Both the BJP and the JD-U tried to downplay the optic in their own way.

"Nitish Kumar is a long fan of yoga and had been doing it much before the United Nations declared June 21 as the International Yoga Day. He does it at home each day and no political meaning should be made out because he did not attend the camp at the Pataliputra Playground.

Both Sushil Kumar Modi and Ravi Shankar Prasad also rubbished the claim that there was sign of strain within the NDA.

"One must not read too much into the Chief Minister's absence as one cannot force anyone to do yoga in a public set up. Nitish Kumar is known for performing yoga at his residence and that is all which matters. His absence must not be politicized,"

Justification aside, people were still questioning why no one from the JD-U attend the yoga camp.

"The Chief Minister's absence does not absolve other JD-U leaders who could have easily participated in the yoga meet today. The fact that no one from the JD-U participated in the yoga camp indicates all is not well within the NDA," said a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader.

Meanwhile, thousands of people across the state capital participated in various yoga camps organized by schools, colleges, government offices, and private businesses.

Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) President and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha, both part of the NDA, took part in the program in Hajipur as did BJP leaders Radha Mohan Singh and Giriraj Singh in Motihari and Nawada respectively.

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