Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Monday said no irregularity has been found in the allotment of 96.5 bighas of land near Sadhupul in Solan district to Yoga guru Ramdev’s trust.
The state cabinet had in February 2013 cancelled the land lease to Patanjali Yogpeeth sanctioned by the previous BJP government for a payment of Rs 17 lakh to set up an Ayurvedic hospital, a research station and a herbal garden-cum-collection centre. A token amount of Re 1 per annum was to be paid during the 99-year lease.
While cancelling the lease, the then Congress government had claimed that land rules were violated while leasing out the land.
“We have looked at the issue afresh and reached the conclusion that no violation happened. The land was leased out by the BJP government before the 2012 polls. So it’s not true that the transfer of land took place during the transition period i.e after the 2012 polls and before Congress took over,” Singh said.
The Chief Minister further said that the land leased was the one that was identified for the project. Earlier, it was alleged that while the trust was alloted land next to Sadhupul, the facility came up near Kandaghat.
Singh also clarified that setting up of the facility had caused no encroachment or obstruction for Indira Holiday home, a training centre of Bharat Scouts and Guides. “The part of land where the Yoga Guru proposes to invest is barren. What’s wrong if the state gets some investment that benefits Himachal Pradesh and it’s people”.
Singh also recalled that it was he who hosted Ramdev’s yoga camp at Hamirpur at his personal expense and also
attended it. Sources close to the Chief Minister said that he was “not briefed about actual facts regarding the issue.”
The cancellation of the land lease was the first major decision of the Virbhadra Singh government after it came to power.
The High Court had stayed government action at the facility on a petition filed by Patanjali Yogpeeth, days after the government sent police to take possession of the land.
The trust, in its petition, had alleged serious discrepancies in the government’s move to cancel the lease. By then, the trust had already invested Rs 11 crore at the site .