New Delhi: Early this morning, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined thousands in Chandigarh to mark the second International Yoga Day, 57 ministers led mass yoga sessions at cities across the country. On Sunday too, two top ministers - Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu - were seen attending an event organised by yoga guru Ramdev at Rajpath in New Delhi.
- Government spent nearly Rs 20 crores for Yoga Day
- Nearly half of this amount spent on advertisement, campaigns
- RTI revealed Ayush spent 32.5 crores last year on Yoga Day
But key questions that are now being asked are, who paid for these events and how much will it cost the government?
Government sources told NDTV that the Centre did not pay for events like the one hosted by Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Yogpeeth.
Nor did it pay for any of the events organised by the 21 yoga institutes that are partnering AYUSH, the main ministry responsible for the event.
But AYUSH spent around Rs 20 crores for the second edition of the International Yoga Day.
Nearly half of this amount was spent on advertisement, campaigns and special programmes across various media platforms like television, newspapers, journals and social media.
The government also spent on accessories like T-shirts, caps, mats for the participants of mass yoga sessions, including the ones organised by Indian missions abroad.
"There are 193 countries in United Nations and except Libya and Yemen, yoga day is being celebrated in all the countries," said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at a press conference on Sunday.
But the Rs. 20 crore budget did not include expenditure incurred on security. Nor did it include expenditure by various state governments.
RTI data had revealed that Ayush had spent Rs. 32.5 crores last year on International Yoga Day. This year's budget was lower but the government did not want to confront on the scale of celebrations.