Chandigarh: The Haryana government today decided to give "status equivalent to Cabinet Minister" to Ramdev, who has been appointed as the state's brand ambassador to promote yoga and ayurveda.

"Ramdev, Brand Ambassador for promotion of yoga and ayurveda in Haryana, will be given status equivalent to Cabinet Minister," Haryana's Health and Sports Minister, Anil Vij tweeted today.

Vij had earlier said a herbal forest would be developed in the state where plants of thousands of species of ayurvedic herbs would be grown under the supervision of Ramdev. The emphasis on yoga and ayurveda would lead to an amalgamation of tradition and modernity and inclusion of yoga in the school syllabus would turn Haryana into a model state based on Indian values and traditions, Vij had said.

Yoga would be made a compulsory subject in Haryana's schools for which 'yogshalas' will be constructed in all the towns and about 6,500 villages of the state under the guidance of Ramdev, he said.

Notably, last month, Haryana Assembly had witnessed uproarious scenes as the BJP government came under sharp attack from opposition Congress for allegedly "going out of way to please Ramdev by making him the brand ambassador" for promotion of yoga and ayurveda in the state. 

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the 'International Yoga Day' would be celebrated at Karnal on June 21 and about 21,000 youngsters would participate in it. The Chief Minister, who was presiding over a meeting here, said that discussions will be held with Ramdev for the success of the event in the state. Khattar has assigned duties to various heads of departments to make the event a success, according to an official release here.

Speaking on the occasion, Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma suggested setting up of a dress code for students which was unanimously accepted by all in the meeting.

AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh criticised the Haryana government over the move and said Ramdev was a "fraud". "Haryana government has given respect to a fraud. It reflected on its own character," Singh said in Delhi.

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