If two union ministers in the central government have their way, politicians will soon become posterboys for fitness, minus the customary paunch or extra kilos. On Wednesday, union minister of state for home affairs, Kiren Rijiju, tweeted a video of his colleague and Olympian Rajyavardhan Rathore’s exercise routine, saying, “While doing duty we’ve no time for physical fitness. But my Olympian colleague @Ra_THORe manages some time & gives me a tough challenge.”
Rathore, who is the minister of state for information and broadcasting, responded to Rijiju, tweeting, “Ha ha ha...despite your hectic schedule, YOU are beyond competition AND are an inspiration.”
On Thursday, Rijiju went a step further, proving Rathore’s point by tweeting out this video clip of him hitting the gym. He also had a message for the youth: “Young friends, stay away frm drugs, be fit. Let’s build @narendramodi ji’s #NewIndia dream. I took out 30 mins frm work 2 respond @Ra_THORe. ”
Indian politicians are known more for throwing barbs at each other in the Parliament, than flexing their muscles. But Rijiju and Rathore’s Twitter exchange drew a response from other politicians as well.
Suresh Prabhu, minister of railways, joked that he was ‘intimidated’ by the junior ministers’ commitment to fitness.
Vijay Goel, Rajya Sabha MP and minister of state for youth affairs and sports, decided to pay Rathore a compliment:
Social media responded positively to the video, but hoped that the politicians’ attitude towards health and fitness would extend further: