She expressed her displeasure to the officials who had organised the event, part of the state-wide function held at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, and pointed out that yoga doesn’t belong to any particular religion.
The minister added that yoga is also practised by people who do not believe in any religion.
Ms Shailaja was the chief guest for the event and took part in the yoga session along with former Health Minister and Congress legislator VS Sivakumar.
What irked the minister was the rendering of the Sanskrit kirtans after she said India is a secular country.
The organisers of the event said they followed the protocol of the event that is being done across the country.
Reacting to this, Kerala Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Kummanem Rajasekheran asked the minister to come clean and say which group of people she wanted to appease through this.
“We are baffled on why the minister was showing this much intolerance and it was totally unwarranted,” said Rajasekheran.
Ms Shailaja, however, later said she never asked for an explanation from the officials on the rendering of ‘kirtans’.
Similar yoga sessions were held across the state and included the Raj Bhavan where Kerala Governor P Sathasivam took part.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is holding its yoga session on Tuesday evening at Kollam which would see the participation of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.