The JD(U), the BJP’s alliance partner in Bihar, did not join International Yoga Day celebrations in Patna on Thursday.
While Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik, senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ram Kripal Yadav and state Health Minister from BJP Mangal Pandey performed Yoga at Pataliputra Sports complex, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar stayed away. Last year, the JD(U), then a constituent of the Grand Alliance with the RJD and the Congress, had skipped Yoga Day function and instead observed International Music Day. This year, they did not observe Music Day.
JD(U) state president and Rajya Sabha MP Bashistha Narayan Singh said, “Yoga must not be linked with any occasion and must not be advertised. One should do it at home. It has been a part of Indian culture and tradition”. JD(U) spokesperson Rajeev Ranjan said the party always believed that yoga should be a matter of choice and should be practised at home.
According to sources, most JD(U) leaders were not sure about the party’s stand on Yoga Day, but state party chief made it clear on Wednesday evening that they won’t be taking part in the celebrations. A JD(U) source said: “We may be in alliance with the BJP but we have our respective constituencies to cater to.”
Deputy Chief Minister Modi, however, played down the matter. “Everything must not be seen through the political prism. One can do yoga at home and wherever one wants.” The Opposition RJD, meanwhile, has taken a dig at Nitish. The RJD’s national vice-president Shivanand Tewary told The Indian Express, “Nitish Kumar has no way out now. He has walked alone in his political career twice — first in 1995 and again in 2014 — and failed in his both attempts… one can understand the restlessness of a party having only two Lok Sabha MPs”.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav told reporters that there was no question of “the RJD aligning with the JD(U) again because there was no surity of the JD(U) not making another switch”. JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar, however, said the NDA alliance is as strong as ever and the RJD and the Congress must not have “fanciful ideas”.Patn