Even as the Haryana BJP government went whole hog on Tuesday and named its ministers as well as MPs and MLAs of all the parties as the guests for the June 21 international Yoga Day at the state, district and sub-divisions functions, the MLAs of the opposition Congress party gave it a cold shoulder.
First to refuse his participation was former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who when contacted, told HT that though he personally respected and practiced yoga, he would not be attending the function.
“Mujhe to iski koi information, nahi hain, aur mein to Rohtak mein bhi nahin hoon’’, he said meaning that he neither had any information about his participation nor would he be in Rohtak on June 21. The official release, however, said that in Rohtak, Union minister for rural development, Birender Singh, Bhupinder Singh Hooda ….. would grace the occasion.
Similar comment came from Congress MLA from Kaithal and national spokesperson of the Congress Randeep Surjewala. ``When I have no information about the function, how and why will I go? Moreover, it is just a photo-opportunity for the party leaders, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thus, I would not like to be a party to it. Nonetheless, I respect yoga which has been a way of life for every Indian since the past over 5,000 years’’, he said.
Likewise, while the release said that in district Bhiwani, MP Dharambir would grace the occasion at Bhiwani …. Kiran Choudhry, MLA, at Tosham, she said there was no scope of attending it as she had no clue about it. ``I am surprised to see what government is doing as instead of addressing the immediate problems of drought-like situation and grossly inadequate power and water supply in the state, it is more keen to hold such functions’’, she said.
The Congress MLA from Palwal, Karan Singh Dalal appeared to be most critical over his name at the said function. He went on to say that ``it was not a yoga day but a tamasha of BJP government to repay to Baba Ramdev for what he had done for it for the elections and nor was Ramdev a yogi, for, he was more of a ``bhogi’’ – one who is eager to consume more and more and a ``rogi’’ - a patient of greed to grab more’’.
Likewise, former speaker and Congress MLA from Ganaur, whose name was also cited in the release to be gracing the occasion on the said day, retorted that though he was an ardent supporter of yoga, he would not be attending the said function for the simple reason that he did not consider Baba Ramdev to know even elementary yoga. ``It is just a ploy of the BJP to divert people’s attention from the real issues’’, he said.
However, though the MP of INLD, the principal opposition party in Haryana Dushyant Chautala, said he would attend the function for, he respected and practiced yoga, he would be against BJP if it was attempting to politicalise the issue.