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West Bengal: Partha Chatterjee slams Governor over Yoga Day circular

Chatterjee also said the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been laying emphasis on physical education in academic institutions.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Kolkata |
June 15, 2018 8:00:41 am
yoga day circular bengal, west bengal, partha chatterjee, bengal education minister, bengal governor, keshari nath tripathi, indian express West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee. (Files)

State education minister Partha Chatterjee on Thursday criticised Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi for unilaterally urging vice-chancellors of state universities to celebrate International Yoga Day on June 21. “It is not done in good spirit. Usually Human Resource Development ministry sends such circulars to the state education department. But this time Tripathi has sent the letters to the university vice-chancellors bypassing the state government. We don’t know if it’s unconstitutional, but it’s certainly disrespectful,” Chatterjee said.

The education minister also said the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been laying emphasis on physical education in academic institutions. “The CM has always laid stress on physical education. Our state education department also observes International Yoga Day,” he added.

Press secretary to the Governor Manab Bandyopadhyay confirmed that Tripathi had written to vice-chancellors of state universities in this regard earlier this week. He said a copy of the letter was also sent to state higher education minister.

“Tripathi has advised the vice-chancellors to celebrate the day to make the students, faculty and staff members aware of the positive effect of yoga. A copy of the letter was also sent to the state higher education minister,” Bandyopadhyay told The Indian Express.

Chatterjee, however, said he was not aware of it. Tripathi wrote the letters after attending a governor’s conference in Delhi which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind on June 4.

Last year, the state government had refused to observe International Yoga Day despite the Human Resource Development ministry and the University Grants Commission sending circulars regarding the same. The state education department had later organised a separate yoga competition in state-run schools.

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