BJP leaders on Sunday took part in International Yoga Day celebrations in the country and across the world with party president Amit Shah leading the efforts by joining the observations in Patna.
The party leaders hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for enhancing the country’s prestige on the global stage by getting a resolution passed by United Nations to accord recognition to yoga.
Addressing yoga practitioners at Moin-ul-Haque stadium in Patna, Shah underlined the virtues of the ancient exercise form and showered fulsome praises on Modi for his efforts to get it international recognition.
Party veteran LK Advani joined the celebration at Palampur in Himachal Pradesh while Sushma Swaraj, Arjun Jaitley and Najma Heptulla flew to the United States to join celebrations there.
Modi joined the celebrations on Rajpath here and performed yoga along with the thousands who had gathered to mark the day as the event set a Guinness World Record for being the largest such exercise of its kind.
In Bihar, party leader Radha Mohan Singh performed asanas at Motihari while Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha led the observations in Gaya. His Cabinet colleague Giriraj Singh was in attendance at the yoga day event at Muzaffarpur with Sadhvi Niranjana Jyoti joining yoga practitioners in Sitamarhi.
Meanwhile, urging Pakistan to reconsider its stand of not observing International Yoga Day, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Kolkata that yoga would have helped to "bring peace" in that country.
Union Minister Smriti Irani participated at a programme organised by Patanjali Yogpeeth and Manas Kalyan Bahudesh Society at Chaura Maidan in the national capital and also went to the Ridge where a programme was organised by the Art of Living Foundation.
In Kerala, Union Ministers Sadananda Gowda and Suresh Prabhu led BJP efforts to observe the day. Gowda attended a yoga session at Aruvikkara accompanied by former Union minister O Rajagopal, who is the BJP candidate for an Assembly bypoll there on June 27.
In Chennai, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu took a swipe at those who have criticised the government’s efforts to observe Yoga Day saying that some people out of "habit" create a controversy.
Yoga is a discipline which has nothing to do with religion, he said.