Nagpur: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving an international status to yoga and said it should be kept away from religion and politics.
Participating in International Yoga Day celebrations here, Fadnavis told reporters, "Modiji had taken yoga to the United Nations and within a short span of three months, it was worldwide accepted. Today about 177 countries in the world are practising yoga on this day."
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
Union Minister for Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari presided over the event jointly organised by Nagpur Municipal Corporation and Janardan Swamy Yogaabhyasi Mandal. Fadnavis said he had recently visited Dubai and he was told by a top diplomat that about 10,000 persons are performing yoga today.
"Yoga was a gift of India to the world and in the days of hectic life style, the best form to release tension and live happily was to practise yoga," he said.
"Yoga should be kept away from religion and politics," Fadnavis said when asked about opposition from Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat to yoga.
Yoga was performed by over 20,000 participants including NCC cadets and recruits under training from the women's battalion at the Regional Police Training School (RPTS) at this event.
Maharashtra Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Minister for Social Justice Rajkumar Badole and City Mayor Praveen Datke along with other city legislators were present on the occasion.
The Chief Minister who later visited the Central Prison on the Wardha Road here practised yoga with a select group of jail inmates.
"Yoga will cure and purify them (inmates) who have committed some wrong doings. Yoga will certainly bring a sense of relief to these inmates," Fadnavis said.
Rains lash Delhi after Yoga Day celebration at Rajpath New Delhi, Jun 21 (PTI) Showers swept across the national capital today minutes after the mega International Yoga Day event ended at Rajpath, thus giving much needed respite to Delhiites from the sweltering heat.
The rains were preceded by gusts which brought down several temporary structures at Rajpath put up for the event and scattered the carpets laid over the premier avenue.
The MeT recorded the minimum temperature at 28.5 degrees Celsius and has forecast rain and thunderstorms throughout the day. Similar weather conditions would prevail till June 25, it said.
Rainfall measuring 1 mm was recorded at Palam at 8.30 AM while the humidity in the air was recorded at 65 per cent. Yesterday, the maximum temperature settled at 38.5 degrees Celsius, one notch above the season's average, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 27.2 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season's average.
Meanwhile, amid heavy rainfall which lashed several parts of Maharashtra, hundreds of different events to celebrate International Yoga Day were held in the state where senior citizens, office-goers and children enthusiastically participated.
In Mumbai, BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve and Health Minister Deepak Sawant performed yoga that was co-ordinated by party's state treasurer Shaina N C and others. Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Anant Geete were present on the occasion.
Hundreds of people laid down their mattresses along the entire stretch of the 'Queen's necklace' from Chowpatty to Nariman Point in a programme called 'Yoga by the Bay', which was a joint collaboration between the Art of Living, NGO 'I Love Mumbai' and 'Equal Streets Initiative'.
There were 150 instructors from the Art of Living teaching people various forms of yoga.
Over 800 policemen, trained by the Art of Living, also performed on the Marine Drive promenade along with others.
Various other local institutions, schools, colleges, along with work places, restaurants and departmental stores also urged their employees to perform yoga for health and spiritual benefits.