Sonia has no concern with Baba Ramdev’s land lease cancellation: Virbhadra Singh

Shimla/February 28

Denying any role of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in revoking land lease of yoga guru Baba Ramdev in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Thursday said it was solely the state’s decision taken after due deliberations.
“The land lease of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth was revoked as there were violations of statutory provisions,” the chief minister told reporters here on Thursday.
He clarified that the state took the decision on its own and Gandhi has nothing to do with the land cancellation. “The matter is now in the court. The government is on strong footing,” Virbhadra Singh added.
The yoga guru on Wednesday slammed Gandhi for forcing the state government to take over the land allotted to him for setting Patanjali Yogpeeth near Sadhupul in Solan district.
At a public rally in Solan town on Wednesday, Baba Ramdev had described the chief minister as a decent man, who had invited him in the past and attended his yoga camp.
“I had attended his camps when he was a yoga guru. I wanted to promote yoga as it is an ancient method of curing diseases. But now Baba has taken the political course and his yoga movement is weakened. Rather than Yoga Guru, he is becoming more political leader. I have nothing to do with him,” the chief minister said.
Chief Minister said that Mandi MLA Anil Sharma would be inducted into the Himachal Cabinet before Budget Session, while the decision to fill other vacant berths of ministers, CPS and others will be taken after the budget session.
He clarified that his meeting with AICC president Sonia Gandhi at Delhi was a routine meeting and has nothing to do with the cabinet expansion. The meeting was to discuss various developmental and financial issues related to the state, he added.
Chief Minister also hinted that it was not necessary to hold by-election for the vacant seat of Mandi parliamentary seat. The seat of Mandi parliamentary constituency has fallen vacant after the resignation of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh as an MP.
“According to rules it is only necessary to hold election when the elected member is getting a working period of minimum one year,” he added.
Chief Minister said that he had given direction to the all ministers to be present at the state secretariat for a period of minimum four working days every week so that people coming from various corners of the state would not have to face problems.