World Yoga Day: India celebrates
Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs yoga with others during a camp to mark International Day of YogaReuters/Adnan Abidi

World Yoga Day in India has ended with squabbling and finger pointing as several of the country's senior governmental figures were accused of hijacking the UN-sponsored event for political gain.

General secretary of India's ruling party, Ram Madhav, has been forced to apologise for criticising the country's vice president, Hamid Ansari (a Muslim), for not appearing at World Yoga Day. Yoga is seen as characteristically Hindu.

Madhav, one of the most senior figures in the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, said on Twitter that Ansari "gave it a miss".

Madhav also attacked India's public service broadcaster Rajya Sabha for not, in his view, giving enough coverage to World Yoga Day.

The Indian government, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been angered by the unnecessary controversy, NDTV reported.

In a statement the government has said protocol dictated as the prime minister was leading World Yoga Day the vice president was not invited. In response to Madhav's criticism Ansari has also released a statement: "The vice president only attends those programmes in which the minister concerned invites him as per protocol," his office said.

Secularists in India had already attacked the Modi government for attempting to promote a Hindu agenda through World Yoga Day.

Modi took to Twitter to thank the UN and the 177 nations that participated in World Yoga Day.