New Delhi/ Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday tossed a fitness challenge at Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy (HDK), who lost no time in retorting that he was “more concerned about the development fitness” of the State. Modi, who was tagged by cricketer Virat Kohli for the ‘fitness challenge’ campaign started by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, also posted a video of his exercise regime, which includes yoga and walking on a track inspired by five elements of nature.
“Here are my morning exercises. Apart from yoga, I walk on a track inspired by the pancha tatvas or five elements of nature — Prithvi, Jal, Agni, Vayu, Aakash. This is extremely refreshing and rejuvenating. I also practise breathing exercises. #HumFitTohIndiaFit,” Modi tweeted along with the video.
In the next tweet that followed, Modi said he was “delighted to nominate the following for the #FitnessChallenge” — Kumaraswamy, Commonwealth Games table tennis medal winner Manika Batra and the entire fraternity of brave IPS officers, especially those above 40 (years)”.
The move to tag Kumaraswamy has clear political overtones as the Karnataka CM has referred to his health as a factor in JD(S) hesitating to take up the post. It also set tongues wagging as it came at a time he joined hands with Congress to prevent BJP from forming a Government in Karnataka.
The PM’s choice of Kumaraswamy at a time when the Karnataka CM 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 is part of my daily workout regime. Yet, I am more concerned about development fitness of my State and seek your support for it,” tweeted Kumaraswamy from his official Chief Minister’s handle.
Later yesterday Kumaraswamy told reporters that it was important to be “Fit in their work.” He added, “For that, I welcome it. Individually, I am not bothered about the fitness issue. My fitness is Karnataka’s fitness. Karnataka people have to be fit in every manner. For that, I am taking the challenge,” he said.
Kumaraswamy said he would convey his gratitude to Modi for being concerned about his fitness. “For the last 5 months, due to election work, I could not exercise. Otherwise, I wake up early. Treadmill and yoga is part of my exercise regimen. I am physically fit and so is my Government,” he said.
BJP leaders from the State, however, have not taken Kumaraswamy’s rebuff to Modi in a kind light. “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.