National

For Kumaraswamy, PM’s challenge is a stretch

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing yoga following a
fitness challenge on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing yoga following a fitness challenge on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: AFP/video screenshot

Politely rebuffs Modi’s Twitter overture, says his fitness is Karnataka’s fitness

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise nomination of Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy in the ongoing Twitter fitness challenge initiated by Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore set off a political kerfuffle.

His choice of Mr. Kumaraswamy at a time when the Karnataka Chief Minister is heading a delicate coalition with the Congress in the State prompted the latter to politely rebuff the challenge which involves uploading a video of a personal fitness routine and tagging it forward.

“Dear @narendramodi ji I am honoured and thank you very much for the concern about my health. I believe physical fitness is important for all and support the cause. Yoga-treadmill are part of my daily workout regime. Yet, I am more concerned about development fitness of my State and seek your support for it,” tweeted Mr. Kumaraswamy from his official Chief Minister’s handle.

He later said, “PM advised everybody to be fit in their work, for that I welcome it. In my personal view, our government isn’t individually bothered about fitness issue. My fitness is Karnataka’s fitness, people have to be fit in every work, that is my top priority,” he said.

Mr. Modi’s praise for his father and former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, during the election campaign had also led to much confusion over the post-poll scenario, and Janata Dal(S) leaders said it affected the party’s appeal among minorities, a key vote bank. When Mr. Kumaraswamy called on him in New Delhi, then too Mr. Modi expressed respect towards the former Prime Minister, calling him the “only other politically active Prime Minister”.

He advised Mr. Kumaraswamy to expedite government formation, so that the responsibility may be distributed.

BJP leaders from the State have not taken Mr. Kumaraswamy’s rebuff to Mr. Modi in a kind light. “Mr. Kumaraswamy says he is worried about the fitness of the State; he is neither concerned about Karnataka nor his own fitness, only that of his ally the Congress party,” said BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 9:55:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kumaraswamy-plays-it-safe-on-modis-fitness-challenge/article24152275.ece

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