HP govt cancels Solan land deal with Ramdev
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Previous BJP govt gave prime land for Re 1 annual lease to yoga guru's trust.
In a blow to Baba Ramdev's plans to set up multi-crore Pantanjali Yogpeeth campus on 96 bigha prime land in Solan district, the Congress-led Himachal government on Tuesday cancelled the lease sanctioned by the previous BJP government on a token annual fee of Re 1 to the yoga guru's trust.
The cabinet, which met here on Tuesday, termed the decision of the previous BJP government as an undue favour to Ramdev, beside being illegal and beyond the powers of the government. The decision comes in the wake of Ramdev's plans to hold a yoga camp later this month at the site, where construction has already taken place.
The land initially belonged to erstwhile Maharaja of Patiala, who had donated it to a trust — Indira Holiday Home —for organising camps and other activities for children. The 96 bighas, along with the existing grounds and built-in structures, were estimated to be worth several crores. It was transferred to Ramdev's trust for only Rs 17 lakh, besides a Re 1 token fee per annum.
"It was a highly illegal and unauthorised action on part of the BJP government. A probe by the government has found that land cannot be transferred for commercial purpose. Moreover, the lease was signed in name of Archarya Balkrishan, who is facing a CBI inquiry, as he is allegedly a Nepali national," said Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur.
In another major decision, the cabinet decided to rename "Atal free school uniform" project as "Mahatma Gandhi Vardi Yojana". It also decided to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of the additional chief secretary for finalisation of purchase of cloth, specification, design, colour and handling charges.
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