The state government on Tuesday denied a BJP-backed Government Employees’ Association permission to hold a yoga session on Swasthya Bhawan grounds on Wednesday — International Yoga Day. The ‘Sarkari Karmachari Parishad’, which is affiliated to BJP, had sought permission from the state health department to allow it to use Swasthya Bhawan’s grounds in Salt Lake. On Tuesday, the department informed the association’s convener, Debasish Seal, that the ground would not be available.
“In inviting a reference to his letter no SKP/HEALTH/04/2017 dated 29.05.2017, the undersigned is directed to inform with regret that the Garden Area of Swasthya Bhawan will not be available on June 21, 2017 as the garden area of Swasthya Bhawan is not provided for such occasion,” read the letter. Speaking to The Indian Express, Debasish Seal said it was a conspiracy by the government to disrupt their proposed activity.
“We had sent a letter seeking permission to hold a yoga session on the ground for half an hour on May 29. If the ground was indeed not available, then why did the government take so much time to inform us? They are denying us permission at the eleventh hour. Moreover, the government has also sent a copy of that letter to Electronics Complex Police Station in Salt Lake, to take action if we dishonour its decision. We strongly condemn this,” Seal said.
Members of Sarkari Karmachari Parishad now plan to stage a protest at Swasthya Bhawan on Wednesday. BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said the state government was pursuing vendetta politics. “When the entire world is celebrating International Yoga Day, the Mamata Banerjee government is preventing people from celebrating it. It is because the state government is seeing ghosts of BJP in everything. It is maintaining a vindictive attitude towards us by not allowing government employees to perform yoga,” Sinha said.
Meanwhile, Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi conveyed his greetings to the people of the state, saying: “Yoga is not only a physical exercise, it also develops the mind and soul of human beings. It disciplines the body and helps in achieving concentration.”