Nitish Kumar Calls International Yoga Day A Publicity Stunt, Says Bihar Govt Won’t Participate

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (RAVEENDRAN/AFP/GettyImages)

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday called the International Yoga Day, an initiative of the Indian government to promote the ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice throughout the world, a publicity stunt and refused to participate in the world-wide event saying "we don't believe in advertisement".

International Yoga Day is celebrated annually on 21 June since its inception in 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address at the United Nations, had suggested the date of 21 June as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares special significance in many parts of the world.

Making these remarks while addressing a press conference, Kumar said he was not against yoga but did not approve of such publicity stunts.

"I am not against yoga day but I don't like publicity stunts on International Yoga Day. I also do yoga but have never advertised it," he was quoted as saying.

Interestingly, Kumar, who seems averse to the idea of ‘advertising’ events, rose the advertising budget of Bihar between 2006 (Kumar became chief minister in November 2005) and 2010 by over 167.5 per cent. Between 2000 and 2005, the Rabri Devi-led government spent Rs 23.4 crore on advertisements. Under Kumar, the advertising budget rose to a whopping Rs 62.6 crore.

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