New Delhi: Congress today sought to take the sheen out of the Modi government’s plans to observe the first International Yoga Day on June 21 with grandiose, alleging that it was just a “photo op”.
To drive home the point, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said after the new government took over, the Ayush Ministry as well as several yoga institutions under it have spent only a minuscule amount allocated to them.
The fund utilisation at Moraraji Desai National Institute of Yoga was just four per cent while it was 30 per cent in the Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, he said.
“Fund utilisation by Ayush Ministry is the lowest – a dismal 43 per cent, indicating that the Prime Minister’s tantrum on pushing yoga globally is just a show off,” Mr Singhvi said, parrying questions whether Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi will be participating in the celebrations.
Mr Singhvi said, “The entire tantrum on yoga is just a photo op and event management exercise by the government… This is evident from the fact that Rs. 318 crore have been allocated for AYUSH promotion in 2015-16 against a spending of Rs. 66.52 crore in 2014-15.”
He said this spending on promotion alone is equivalent to the spending on Central Plan Outlay in the revised estimates for the Ministry for 2014-15.
According to reports, to ensure a successful Yoga Day celebrations, the government has extended invitations to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The central government has extended invitations to all Members of Parliament as well. All Union Cabinet ministers are also expected to be present on the occasion.
India will lead the world to mark International Yoga Day on June 21 and a mega event has been planned in Delhi in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present.
The UN General Assembly had in December last year adopted an India-led resolution, supported by over 175 UN member- states, declaring June 21 as ‘International Day of Yoga’, recognising that “Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being”.