Agartala: Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Saturday said that if Tripura's youth take up the fitness challenge campaign by the union sports minister, they would become healthy and the health of the state would improve too. "All the youths should stay fit. If all youths do push-ups, they will become healthy and Tripura will become healthy too ... Automatically, Tripura will develop 56-inch chest and follow the direction of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' for development," Mr Deb said, apparently alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb says he has accepted fitness challenge
- Have asked sports minister for funds for sports in Tripura, he said
- "Development doesn't mean only industries," he said
PM Modi had reportedly claimed that he had a 56-inch chest during his campaign before the 2014 general election to lash out at the incompetence of his opponents.
Mr Deb said he himself had accepted Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore's fitness challenge and tweeted that he does 20 push-ups.
"I could do 20 more. Youths will feel good and fresh if they give 20, 30, 40 push-ups every morning," he said.
Mr Deb said he has requested the union sports minister to provide more funds to develop sports infrastructure in Tripura.
Mr Rathore, he said, agreed to develop a sports complex and sought 17 acres which would include all necessary facilities for sports.
"Development doesn't mean only industries. It also means developing sports. One has to be an all-rounder (to perform well)," the chief minister said at a programme where ace gymnast Dipa Karmakar, tennis star Somdev Dev Varman, national women's football team goalkeeper Laxmita Reang and Dronacharya awardee and gymnast Bisweswar Nandi were felicitated.
Mr Deb said his government would work to further develop sports infrastructure in Tripura and called for Khelo Tripura, Sustho Thako Tripura (Play Tripura, Stay Healthy Tripura).
He said sports stars should be involved in annual sports events of schools and other programmes to encourage promising talents across the state.
Sports and Youth Affairs minister Manoj Kanti Deb said stress would be laid on Kabaddi, Judo, basketball, and football and other sports and expressed hopes of holding the National Games in the state in the future.