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Political Controversy Erupts Over Yoga Day Celebrations In Odisha


21 June 2018

Ajesh Mallick


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Bhubaneswar: While opposition BJP has taken umbrage at International Yoga Day not being officially observed by the State Government here, ruling BJD pooh-poohed such allegation and clarified that the State Government has never banned any institution or organization from celebrating it nor has it been made compulsory for the State Government to make it an official function.

In his media reactions, Odisha BJP general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said, “When Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated and exhorted that Yoga should be internationally embraced by one and all for a healthy life, the global society totally accepted it. Thus, today on the International Yoga Day, people of all countries practised Yoga en masse to mark the day. It has been taken up as a mammoth celebration worldwide.”

“It’s unfortunate to note here today that Odisha Government owing to its political mindset has kept aloof from observing the International Yoga Day. By doing so, Odisha’s image has been defamed both in India and at the international forum,” the BJP leader remarked.

Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati commented, “Yoga must be promoted by the Government. There is need for creating public awareness on Yoga cutting across party lines.”

“As the Central Government has given utmost priority to it, that’s why the State Government stopped its celebration totally. Perhaps the Central Government is not providing financial assistance for that. Hence, the State Government has sulked and checked its official observance here in the State,” remarked the Congress leader.

On the contrary, BJD spokesperson and senior BJD MLA Arun Sahu countered, “State Government has never barred any institution or organization from practicing Yoga. Even there is no direction that the State Government is bound down to observe it (International Yoga Day). Hence, BJP’s allegation is baseless.”

He reiterated, “The Hon’ble State Government has never barred any institution or organization from practicing Yoga. Nowhere has it been made mandatory that the State Government will observe it at any cost.”

“BJP’s allegation is meant for locking horns deliberately and reaping political mileage from a baseless matter,” the ruling BJD leader shot back.

Also Read: MP's Royal Bengal To Prowl In Odisha's Satkosia Tiger Reserve

Also Read: 4th International Yoga Day: Europe Gets Taste Of Authentic Yoga, Art Of Living Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Leads Special Sessions

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Pritviraj Harichandan, Spokesperson, BJP, Odisha

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Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Congress Chief Whip, Odisha

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Arun Sahu, Spokesperson, BJD