NEW DELHI: Even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be performing yoga during the official International Yoga Day function on Sunday at the historic Rajpath, but he will make a speech before the action begins.
Interestingly, there will be seven persons including Modi on the specially built stage at the Rajpath on June 21. Baba Ramdev being one of them, sources said.
As the countdown for the June 21 event has begun, hectic preparations were underway to make the even recording breaking. Government has requested the Guinness Records to certify the event as the largest congregation of people at one place doing yoga. Sources said government is pitching for minimum 35,000 participants for the 33 minute yoga performance.
External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had already made clear that Prime Minister will not perform yoga that day. Sources said PM is likely to make a 15-20 minute speech before actual yoga performances began at 7 am sharp. PM will arrive at the venue at 6.35 am. After formal salutations he would make a short speech. After his speech, the yoga would begin according to the already prepared format. The event would be over by 7.33 am, sources said.
Though, there was still some mystery over who all would be present on the stage along with Modi. Sources said according to initial information given to the ministry, there will be seven persons on the stage including Prime Minister Modi, Ayush minister Sripad Naik, Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, chairman of Yoga organising committee Dr HR Nagendra, Ayush secretary. The two names are yet to be officially communicated to the ministry, sources told the Express.
The government had initially planned for three separate records for the day, but due to high costs involved in paying for each of the those officials recording the event, it was decided to limit to the main event.
As only Modi would be present on the stage at the Rajpath, other cabinet ministers have been asked to go to different states to be part of the official functions. External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj would be at New York to attend the official United Nations functions, home minister Rajnath Singh would be Lucknow.