JAIPUR: A row has erupted over land allotment for Baba Ramdev’s proposed yoga centre-cum-food park in Rajasthan. State government officials have opposed the MoU for the project by which around 400 bighas of land was to be given to Ramdev’s trust in Karauli district.
Although they have termed the MoU illegal, the Vasundhara Raje government is looking for ways to bypass rules and push the project through.
The row has erupted just ahead of World Yoga Day celebrations on June 21 at which Ramdev and Raje are slated to create a Guinness record by doing yoga with two lakh people in Kota district.
The officials claim the land on which Ramdev wants to set up his yoga centre is shown in revenue records as ‘Mandir Mafi’ land, which can neither be sold nor given on lease. During princely times, most temples in Rajasthan were given agricultural land, called ‘Mandir Mafi’ land.
The land in question is owned by the Govind Devji Temple Trust, which reportedly gave it to Ramdev’s yoga peeth on a three-year lease in 2016.
Experts claim the land is registered in the name of the deity, who is legally considered a “minor”.Such land can’t be sold, leased or converted for any purpose. This has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
The ambitious project will have an ayurvedic hospital, a yoga peeth and a Gurukul at an estimated investment of about Rs 500 crore. Though Ramdev and the CM laid the foundation stone for the complex two months ago, work has yet to start.
The Rajasthan Chief Secretary has held two meetings with revenue and Devasthan officials along with top CMO officials. The revenue officials have reportedly said they oppose any MOU that flouts rules. A move is underway to change land conversion laws through a Cabinet resolution.
State Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma said, “The Raje government wants to use him (Baba Ramdev) for electoral benefit. But we will not tolerate any illegal allotment.”